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Report: Feds Are Watching #BlackLivesMatter

Surveillance of anti-police-brutality movement exposed.

Hide your tweets, hide your status updates, the Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the whereabouts of people in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, according to Daily Kos.

In documents obtained by The Intercept, social media surveillance has taken place at least since as early as the protests in Ferguson, Missouri last year.

THE VIRAL EPIDEMIC OF POLICE BRUTALITY

Reportedly, a "WatchOpps officer" began with collecting data on "conflict zones" that were arising in response to the death of teenager Michael Brown. Continued monitoring of Twitter, Vine, and Facebook, for example, were then catalogued even during peaceful events, like silent vigils in memorium to victims of police brutality.

The surveillance is referred to internally as "situational awareness" in the near 40 pages of documentation, and it's looking like it's 1984, says Constitutional Rights legal director Baher Azmy.

"[C]reating this body of knowledge about perfectly legal events is a problem in and of itself," he said. “What they call situational awareness is Orwellian speak for watching and intimidation. Over time there’s a serious harm to the associational rights of the protesters and it’s an effective way to chill protest movements.”

Is that what happened to hip hop?

Rewind! Watch: Retired NYPD Commander Speaks Out on Sandra Bland Case in the BET News exclusive video below.

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(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

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