Is Twitter censoring accounts for foreign powers? Isn’t that a FARA violation and revenue from it in US banks is money laundering? Ask Manafort. @FBI

First, I’m guessing Twitter will move to shut me up for good. So watch this space. I may be starting my own Rojava news service.  Also watch my Face Book account Tawan Ceng (“War Crimes”) exposing Afrin war crimes. I’m cross posting to that site.

Here is why Twitter’s management should all see their own attorneys.

This is a page from Manafort’s recent superseding indictment. See para. 39.

Pages from 20180216 unsealed 20180223 Manafort superseeding

So the Manafort case proves that the US government says that, if you should be registered and willfully fail to, your money derived from your actions are proceeds of a specified unlawful activity with implications for US criminal money laundering statutes and RICO.

How could Twitter managers be required to register under FARA?

First, Twitter’s major area of revenue growth has been in its foreign sales. A country with a controlled press, like Turkey or Russia, could be proven to have all business in the political arena media as government controlled.  I believe it will be easy for the FBI and NSA to make the connection between Turkey’s MIT and Twitter’s pro-Kurdish account takedown activities. They probably already have.

So the key is to prove Twitter is an agent of a foreign principal that engages in propaganda, or as the statute was amended to call it “political activities.” Once established, Twitter and its management have to register under FARA.

Under FARA:  “agent of a foreign principal” means—

(1) any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or any person who acts in any other capacity at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal, and who directly or through any other person—

(i)

engages within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal;

22 U.S. Code § 611(FARA).

So if Twitter’s Turkish sales force responds to a “request” by Turkey through the sales force to limit pro-Kurdish account activity, it is engaged in political activities in the US and Twitter and possibly all its management must register under FARA.

Michael Flynn’s case proves that taking money from Turkish government affiliates to influence American political discourse requires registering under FARA.  Shutting down the Kurdish accounts while being un-registered is a FARA violation. Once that is proven, all the money derived from Turkey becomes evidence of money laundering that is also a RICO predicate offense. See 18 U.S. Code § 1961(1) (racketeering activity definition includes section 1956 laundering of monetary instruments).

 

 

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