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December 13, 2021

Thompson Statement on Reports of CBP Surveillance of Journalists

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement regarding news reports that the Counter Network Division at U.S. Customs and Border Protection's National Targeting Center investigated journalists, Members of Congress, and their staff using government databases, including data on travel records as well as personal and financial information:

“If true, this abuse of government surveillance powers to target journalists, elected officials and their staff is deeply disturbing. The United States government has an obligation to protect all citizens’ right to privacy and freedom of speech. There must be accountability and protections in place to ensure that such incidents never occur. The Inspector General must provide this report to Congress to enable critical oversight work."

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978