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SL Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) cites Facebook ‘private messages’ as evidence to restrict Tamil political activism



The notorious ‘Terrorist’ Investigation Division (TID), currently engaged in containing the voices against the abduction and hostage taking styled arrests in the North and East, has claimed in communication to Chaavakachcheari Magistrate's Court that they have accessed Facebook private messages and chats that have taken place between individuals in the Diaspora and the occupied country of Eezham Tamils, legal sources in Jaffna told TamilNet on Monday. In a recent case where the secretary of Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK) Youth Wing V.S. Sivakaran was detained and later released on surety bail, the TID had submitted the above argument as ‘evidence’ to the courts, the sources said adding that the TID was silencing critical voices in the island by deploying surveillance agencies outside the island. 

The TID arrested V.S. Sivakaran at the office of Puthiyavan weekly last Wednesday. Sivakaran was presented at the courts the following day and he was released on surety bail after restricting him traveling outside the island for the next 6 months. 

The TID had submitted some information to the SL Courts that the detention was carried out following ‘discovery’ of Facebook chat messages to a person outside the island. 

The person outside the island was also a Facebook friend of the detained suspect for possessing explosives and that the person outside person also had chatted through Facebook with Mr Sivakaran, the TID had alleged citing they had access to private chats and messages. 

However, informed sources close to Mr Sivakaran told TamilNet that the SL TID had not questioned him about Facebook chat or anything related to social media communication. 

The only question the TID had asked him was whether the suspect who was in possession of explosives had contacted Mr Sivakaran at some point in the past over the phone. 

It is not possible for a third party to obtain private messaging taking place between people through the Facebook platform unless the accounts were compromised or the social media corporate is sharing exclusive data with the SL Intelligence. 

In July 2013, Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian revealed the details of how US National Security Agency (NSA) was reading contents of stored email and Facebook chats or private messages deploying a tool named DNI Presenter. The spy agency was using a "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the Internet. The Guardian journalist was citing internal NSA documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. 

It is not known whether the SL military intelligence is being utilized with access to tools such as the DNI Presenter by the US military.

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