Watchdog group sues Biden’s DHS over controversial surveillance program

by Laura Ramirez

Photo: Adobe Stock

The Oversight Project, a Heritage Foundation initiative aimed at holding Biden accountable, announced last week it has filed a lawsuit against Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over controversial surveillance of Americans.

According to a press release, the Oversight Project filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia demanding that DHS release all documents related to its contract with Babel Street, a data mining company responsible for the program, “Babel X.”

The foundation claims the program “scrapes (retrieves and copies) data both from online sources and from ‘apps’ running on the smartphones and other devices of billions of individuals worldwide.”

“The purpose for which the Federal Government utilizes these types of programs has long been the subject of debates over privacy and government surveillance,” the lawsuit states. “Today, Plaintiffs simply seeks to know more about the Government’s use of one such program. Plaintiffs have exhausted their administrative remedies and have no recourse but to file this lawsuit.”

In April, The Heritage Foundation issued a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the DHS to release all documents related to Babel X, including emails between government officials, The Epoch Times reported.

However, the government agency asked the foundation to limit the amount of information it was requesting and “failed to promptly review agency records for the purpose of locating and collecting those records that are responsive to Plaintiffs’ FOIA Request,” the lawsuit asserted.

The Oversight Project director and second plaintiff, Mike Howell, accused the DHS in the press release of abusing “its authority to come up with outrageous intelligence assessments since Biden took office.”

He added that the agency “should have to explain what it is paying Babel Street—with American taxpayer dollars—to do with its massive data collection operation, and more importantly, what is it planning to do with that personal, private data.”

The suit requests that the DHS produce all the documents within 20 days of the court’s order.

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