Selfie-snapping rioters leave FBI with more than 140,000 images


Photographer: Win McNamee / Getty Images

The FBI arrested a man in a restaurant in western Maryland after a coworker who saw him in images of people attacking the US Capitol. A Texas man was accused by his ex-wife of identifying him in a social-media video and calling authorities, noting that it was a good photo.

Perhaps the most easily identified interprenore wore the same bear’s head cap with horns, and the same six-foot spear, as he did on his Facebook page. Prosecutors called it a “distinctive dress” in charging documents.

These more details show court documents how the FBI has quickly identified more than 275 suspects – the number is expected to rise quickly – related to last week’s Capital Riots. More than 98 people have been arrested, often with the help of self-posted videos or social media by the participants. And the sleep of investigators, academics and citizens is still intact, although broadcast footage and websites such as Archives of Twitter Inc., YouTube and even the now-defunct Parler platform favored by right-wing activists.

More than 140,000 pieces of digital media have been obtained by the FBI. “We are scaring everyone for search and intelligence clues,” Steven D’Antuno, assistant director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, told reporters. “We continue to ask for more.”

The FBI has opened a portal to accept tips and digital media depicting riots and violence in and around the Capitol on January 6, when a mob supporting President Donald Trump ransacked the building, shattering walls, Beaten other officers. The siege killed five people, which delayed the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, and clashes between lawmakers who impeached Trump on Wednesday.

The FBI has refused to provide many details to find out how he was conducting the search, but a police department says the bureau is helping link names and faces with facial recognition software . And a trail of location data left behind the rioters’ mobile phones may prove useful. Service providers are obliged to turn over the information in response to the search warrant.

While Digital DrugNet has proven useful to law enforcement, it poses a risk to many volunteers who are reposting the screen shots they allege.

Protest as joint session of Congress confirms presidential election result

The protesters attacked the American Capitol on 6 January.

Photographer: Victor J. Blue / Bloomberg

Misidentifying someone as a rioter – or even identifying someone who was in the Capitol but was not involved in criminal acts – could potentially lead to fines, lawsuits and costly offenses with people on the other end of those Twitter. Can trigger settlements and Facebook Ink Post.

“Anyone who thinks that oh, I know that person just needs to call the authorities. It’s legally safe and it’s physically safe Sandy Davidson, a First Amendment law expert and professor emeritus University of Missouri-Columbia. “You have done your civil liability without risking any legal harm and unfairly without damaging anyone else’s reputation.”

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