Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York revealed to the House Oversight Committee and the Reform Committee Tuesday that the conservative social media site Parler sent warnings about its users’ violence to the FBI more than 50 times leading up to the January 6 attacks on the Capitol.
Maloney, the Democratic chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, presented research into why the response was so slow to requests for aid from the Capitol Police on January 6. “The threats, I would say, were everywhere,” Maloney said. “The system was blinking red.”
Maloney questioned FBI Director Christopher A. Wray about the bureau’s lack of a response to several intelligence alerts pre-riots, particularly dozens of warnings from Parler.
The “Committee has obtained docs showing that…Parler sent the FBI evidence of planned violence in DC on January 6. Parler referred this content to the FBI for investigation over 50 times,” Maloney said. The content allegedly included “specific threats of violence being planned at the Capitol.”
Social media platform Parler said it had referred violent content from its platform to the FBI ahead of the breach at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Parler made the disclosure in a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, in response to the panel’s request for documents. The company said that it had referred “violent content and incitement” from its platform to the FBI over 50 times before Jan. 6. It also warned the bureau about “specific threats of violence being planned” about the Jan. 6 incident.
“Parler now writes to set the record straight and provide new information about the positive role Parler played in the days and weeks leading up to January 6th, which should finally put an end to the spurious allegations against the Company,” the letter, penned by Parler’s attorney Michael S. Dry, stated.
The information is the latest in an ongoing feud between Parler and big tech companies that had sought to terminate the platform’s operation following the Jan. 6 incident. Apple and Google removed Parler from its app stores, while Amazon removed the platform from its web hosting service. All three companies took issue with the company’s alleged lax approach to violent content posted by its users and “repeated violations” of their terms of service related to such violent content.
Mark Meckler, the new interim CEO of Parler, currently supports a Convention of States that could give George Soros and other interests the power to rewrite the Constitution.
Meckler, who was appointed as interim CEO of Parler following the removal of founder John Matze, currently runs the Convention of States Project, a supposed “grassroots” organization pushing for a convention under Article V of the Constitution.
The project describes itself as a “national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress,” which initially sounds appealing.
However, a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities argued that such a restriction on an Article V convention would be impossible, with states unable to control what a convention could and could not discuss, and nobody else having clear constitutional control over the convention.
WHEN HACKERS EXPLOITED a bug in Parler to download all of the right-wing social media platform’s contents last week, they were surprised to find that many of the pictures and videos contained geolocation metadata revealing exactly how many of the site’s users had taken part in the invasion of the US Capitol building just days before. But the videos uploaded to Parler also contain an equally sensitive bounty of data sitting in plain sight: thousands of images of unmasked faces, many of whom participated in the Capitol riot. Now one website has done the work of cataloging and publishing every one of those faces in a single, easy-to-browse lineup.
Late last week, a website called Faces of the Riot appeared online, showing nothing but a vast grid of more than 6,000 images of faces, each one tagged only with a string of characters associated with the Parler video in which it appeared. The site’s creator tells WIRED that he used simple open source machine learning and facial recognition software to detect, extract, and deduplicate every face from the 827 videos that were posted to Parler from inside and outside the Capitol building on January 6, the day when radicalized Trump supporters stormed the building in a riot that resulted in five people’s deaths. The creator of Faces of the Riot says his goal is to allow anyone to easily sort through the faces pulled from those videos to identify someone they may know or recognize who took part in the mob, or even to reference the collected faces against FBI wanted posters and send a tip to law enforcement if they spot someone.
Parler is sharing information with the FBI for the Department of Justice’s investigations into the riot at the US Capitol.
An affidavit from an FBI special agent filed in court Tuesday says Eduardo Florea stockpiled more than 1,000 rounds of ammo and threatened to kill Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock of Georgia.
The affidavit says the FBI received records from Parler to identify the user behind the account “LoneWolfWar,” where the threats originated. 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.
But today, if you want to download, sign up for, or use Parler, you will be unable to do so. That is because three Silicon Valley monopolies — Amazon, Google and Apple — abruptly united to remove Parler from the internet, exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country.
If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor.