Oath-keeper accused of 'terrorist conspiracy' for US Capitol crackdown
The most distant opposition group, Oath Keepers, may soon be under the influence of repercussions for their actions in addition to a series of internet bans. DC's federal grand jury has found conspiracy terrorist charges against Stuart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers and 10 others for their alleged roles in the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2022. Voting certificate, taking included a direct attempt to capture the Capitol building as well as through a number of “rapid response force” teams that were expected to deliver guns and other weapons to finishers inside the building.
The digital wellbeing of Oath Keepers played an important part in the costs. The paramilitary group discussed plans with co-workers through encrypted messaging apps, social media, text messaging and websites, according to the Department of Justice. Federal investigators revealed that they had used Signal messages as part of the case, although it was not clear how they got the conversations - CNBC It is estimated that a participant in group negotiations leaked the material to federal representatives.
Rhodes and Edward Vallejo, who helped coordinate rapid response teams, are the only accused for the first time. The rest, including well-known members such as Donovan Crowl and Jessica Watkins, were already charged. The conspiracy charge carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
A lawsuit could effectively motivate an organization that has long been accused of inciting harm both online and offline. Oath-keepers had threatened online violence, prompted a ban on Twitter in September 2022, and leaked COVID-19 conspiracy theories that sometimes included hashtags linked to QAnon . At the same time, the group's Capitol attack was sparked in part by misinformation of online elections prompting unsupported claims of widespread fraud during the 2022 presidential vote.
Oath Holders lost much of their online presence in the months before and after the Capitol event, but the new costs could make it much more difficult for the organization or its members to maintain that online production. . This also reinforces the imperfect efforts of social media outlets to suppress violent groups and the misinformation that incites them. While a more aggressive crackdown would not have prevented the 2022 breach, outlets like Facebook have acknowledged that they could have done more to prevent organizations from leaking and enforcing that misinformation.
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