FBI Intimidates Teen over YouTube Video
If a teenager does well on a school project and is proud enough of his work to post it on YouTube, isn’t that a positive sign for America’s future? The FBI apparently doesn’t think so.
16-year-old Justin Hallman made a short video for a social studies class entitled: “Ron Paul – There is Still Hope”. This video touches on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Anonymous, and the Occupy Movement. After a vignette about the deterioration of American civil liberties, the video urges us to remember that “our future relies on the choices we make next” and claims “there is still hope.” It suggests the hope lies in the person of Ron Paul.
Hallman’s description of his well-made video boasts that his teacher “Mr. Sparks liked it so much that he gave it a score of 45/35 points or 128%!” The YouTube community seems to agree with Mr. Sparks assessment: the video has gotten nearly 150,000 hits and over 2,500 likes. The FBI was not one of them.
Over the summer, Hallman received a visit from the FBI. His mother said that special agents appeared on their doorstep and said, “We need to talk to your son.” Hallman says that the agents questioned him about the content of his video. But that wasn’t all – they also wanted to recruit Hallman for undercover work.
“They wanted me to be an informant, to possibly put my life in danger, to help them arrest and gain intel on occupy protesters and hackers,” Hallman wrote in an email.
While some YouTube commentator’s question the veracity of Hallman’s claims, even going so far as to speculate that the whole scenario was concocted by the FBI to recruit overzealous teenage informers, Hallman says he has proof that the encounter was real. He says Special Agent Bowman left his card and Hallman is incorporating it into a new YouTube video about the entire Big Brother-esque situation.
Even if you don’t agree with the content of Hallman’s video, what does it say about the government’s trust in its citizenry if a school project warrants a visit from the FBI?
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