Commerce Department, ITMS scoured Americans’ social media, did broad keyword searches on employee emails, documents and interviews show. – The Washington Post

Investigators lodged complaints with supervisors, and the department’s internal watchdog launched multiple inquiries, documents show. In an internal memo laying out his concerns about the unit, Costello described an inspector general’s investigation that he said had found it had no legal authority to conduct criminal investigations.

But the unit has managed to keep a low public profile until now, while pursuing investigations into “counterintelligence, transnational crime and counterterrorism,” as it described its activities in a 2018 budget document submitted to Congress.

Incoming Commerce leaders from the Biden administration ordered ITMS to pause all criminal investigations on March 10, and on May 13 ordered the suspension of all activities after preliminary results of an ongoing review, according to a statement issued by department spokeswoman Brittany Caplin.

Source: Commerce Department, ITMS scoured Americans’ social media, did broad keyword searches on employee emails, documents and interviews show. – The Washington Post