Feds to close unit that monitored Americans’ social media for Census disinformation

Kim Lyons

The Verge

A rogue Commerce Dept. unit will be shut down, the agency said | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The US Commerce Department said Friday that it will eliminate an internal security division after an investigation found it had overstepped its authority when it launched criminal investigations into Commerce employees and US citizens. The Investigations and Threat Management Service division had no “adequate legal authority” to conduct criminal investigations, according to an internal investigation by the Commerce Department’s Office of General Counsel.

The investigators recommended that the ITMS unit be eliminated within 90 days, and that its security duties be folded into other Commerce divisions. The Commerce Department said in a statement it would accept the report’s recommendations.

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