Senior DHS official reassigned after office compiled intel reports on journalists, protesters

Source: The Hill | August 1, 2020 | Marty Johnson

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reassigned a senior official who led the agency’s Intelligence & Analysis Office after reports surfaced that the office had been creating intelligence reports on journalists covering the protests in Portland, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The Post, citing three people familiar with the situation, reported that Brian Murphy, the acting undersecretary of the office, was removed from his post and reassigned to a different, undisclosed position within the department.

The Hill has reached out to DHS for comment.

The existence of the reports — known as Open Source Intelligence Reports — was reported on by multiple news outlets earlier this week.

The Post reported that leaked documents showed federal agents in Portland had been relying on financial intelligence and “Baseball cards” of arrested protestors to better assess the situation.

“Baseball cards” have historically been used by the U.S. intelligence community as background information on suspected terrorists, the newspaper noted.

Moreover, Open Source Intelligence Reports have not traditionally been compiled on U.S. citizens who lack ties to terrorist activity and are exercising rights protected by the First Amendment, as the journalists were doing.

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