FBI counterterrorism official says agency doesn't monitor social media without predication, baffling experts

Jill Sanborn.
(Image credit: GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Jill Sanborn, the assistant director of the FBI's counterterrorism division, "baffled" experts during her congressional testimony about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wednesday.

The reason the FBI missed so many of the threats in the lead up to the attack was because the bureau does not believe it has the authority to monitor public social media unless there's predication, like an open investigation, Sanborn testified. The explanation left Rachel Levinson-Waldman, the deputy director of the Liberty and National Security program at The Brennan Center, perplexed, especially after she detailed the FBI's policies on the matter for Just Security last month.

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