Parler helped the FBI identify at least one person charged in connection with the Capitol riot

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Parler is sharing information with the FBI in connection with the Department of Justice’s investigations into the violent riot at the US Capitol.

A sworn affidavit from an FBI agent filed in court Tuesday says Eduardo Florea stockpiled more than 1,000 rounds of ammo and threatened to kill US Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock of Georgia.

The affidavit says the FBI received records from Parler to identify the user behind the account “LoneWolfWar,” which Florea used to make the threats. Parler provided the phone number associated with the account, the affidavit says, and the FBI used it, and info from T-Mobile, to identify Florea.

Florea, a professed supporter of the Proud Boys, a fascist pro-Trump group with chapters across the US, was denied bond and remains in jail while awaiting trial.

Florea ultimately didn’t travel to Washington, DC, for the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. On the same day, though, he posted that New York, where he lives, was “target rich.”

It’s not clear if Parler handed over the account information to the FBI after the Department of Justice issued a warrant or subpoena for it, or whether the company gave the information over of its own accord.

It is typical for major tech platforms to cooperate with law enforcement requests. Local and federal prosecutors routinely obtain the location and text message history of suspects from cell phone carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, and direct messages from platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

As Insider’s Madison Hall reported, Parler also recently cooperated with a separate FBI investigation, in a case against Michael Reyes, who’s accused of threatening to kill President Donald Trump and Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Court documents show that Parler provided the email address, phone number, signup IP address, and creation date of an account associated with Reyes, where the threats were made, after the “FBI submitted an exigent request to Parler for subscriber information.”

Extremists used Parler to organize violence at the Capitol

But the knowledge that Parler is cooperating with law enforcement for cases related to the Capitol insurrection could create problems for the social media platform.

Parler has a large userbase of far-right extremists. Many of those extremists used the platform to organize violence at the Capitol, according to the Department of Justice.

It has also become a haven for people banned from other social media outlets — such as Lin Wood, a pro-Trump and election conspiracy theorist who used Twitter to call for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts — as well as right-wing media personalities, like Fox News host Mark Levin, who believe they can’t freely express themselves on other platforms.

The platform has been offline since Monday when Amazon, which hosted its servers, cut it off, saying it “cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.” Amazon’s decision followed Apple and Google booting Parler’s app from their respective smartphone app stores.

Parler and Amazon are currently …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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