LAPD Is Forcing EVERYONE, Suspects or Not, to Reveal Social Media User Names and More

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By the author of The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices

The notion of government workers monitoring your social media is probably not news to you. I believe Edward Snowden blew the lid off of this can of worms years ago. However, have you considered that those very same people may now force your social media usernames out of you should they stop you on the street?

Probably not, right?

Yet that’s precisely what’s happening in Los Angeles right now. Apparently, it has been happening for years.

How was this discovery made?

Within New York University is a non-profit organization known as the Brennan Center for Justice. Early last year (2020) the NPO law/public policy institute submitted a request for information on how LAPD used social media to monitor people and groups. [source]

The Brennan Center for Justice formally filed the request under the California Public Records Act, yet the request was never fulfilled. The Brennan Center took the matter to a superior court. The court granted the request for information, and the 6,000-page report was finally released this past Wednesday, September 8, 2021.[source]

According to the Brennan Center, the information they were given revealed that LAPD offered little guidance and minimal oversight over officers’ surveillance on social media platforms. The center went on to state: 

Few limitations offset this broad authority: officers need not document the searches they conduct, their purpose, or the justification. They are not required to seek supervisory approval, and the guide offers no standards for the types of cases that warrant social media surveillance. While officers are instructed not to conduct social media surveillance for personal, illicit, or illegal purposes, they seem otherwise to have complete discretion over whom to surveil, how broadly to track their online activity, and how long to monitor them.

Despite endowing its officers with broad authority to surveil social media, the LAPD has done little to ensure these powers aren’t abused.

How did the LAPD collect this information?

LAPD Interview Card

LAPD has been carrying “field interview cards.” LAPD officers can stop anyone, whether they are arresting them or not, and ask them to fill these cards out. [source] It’s up to the officer’s discretion whether the field interview card is filled out or not. Interestingly, information the card collects includes social media handles, usernames, email addresses, and profile page URLs. [source] 

Let’s say you have an Instagram account where you follow Iraqveteran8888, Demolition Ranch, Lucky Gunner, or other firearms-related accounts exclusively. Now that information has been tagged to your name directly by a police department.

Regulations in place state that an officer is not allowed to sign in to a citizen’s online account. Officers are supposed to get a search warrant if they want to delve in such a manner. However, officers are allowed to create a “fictitious online persona” to collect information for investigations. [source]  

Guilty until proven innocent?

The Brennan Center for Justice also states one of the systems the LAPD uses increases the chance of inaccurately identifying a person as a gang member. Which, according to the center’s report, is common practice with the LAPD.

Case in point, in May of 2020, the LAPD was under scrutiny for allegedly falsifying interview cards. These allegations came about when a mother in Van Nuys reported her son being misidentified as a gang member to the police department. After reviewing camera footage, the department found the information to be inaccurate and assigned blame to an officer.

In June of 2020, three of the LAPD’s Metro Division officers were charged with falsifying the information collected on interview cards. Prosecutors claimed these cards misidentified dozens of people as gang members.

Should I be concerned?

Do you like the idea of authorities having access to the username of your private online accounts? What about being watched constantly in an Orwellian Big Brother nature? Officers are supposed to get search warrants to log into one’s account. Nonetheless, if the keys to the kingdom are right there before them, how long do you think they will resist the temptation?

(Has anybody else out there read Minority Report? Philip K. Dick teaches us about the terrors of the concept of ‘pre-crime.) What happens if you are friends with or have liked posts of somebody who has been input into this database as a potential suspect? Are you then liable to possible future entrapment games by fictitious online personas or increased police surveillance?

Can my social media posts or likes be used against me?

You bet they can.

Take a look back at your online social media presence. Let’s say you have liked posts from the firearm community, or perhaps you posted about the debacle of Afghanistan. And what about those political hashtags?

Let me remind you that a similar scene is already unfolding in Australia. Australian police can now change citizen’s social media posts. All in the name of safety, of course.

The LAPD set aside $73,000 in 2021 for Media Sonar software, a tech that tracks social media for police. Specifically, it tracks potential hashtags and keywords that LAPD has deemed to be of interest. Allegedly this tech helps them to “address a potential threat or incidence before its occurrence.” [source] The LAPD has an entire unit dedicated to predictive policing software. This unit monitors social media all day and night to highlight “patterns, hot spots, trends, clusters, spikes,” and so on. [source] 

What can we do to protect ourselves?

Assume someone is watching everything you post online. Because, honestly, it already is. Once more, Edward Snowden already showed us this. (By the way, I’m constantly surprised by the number of people I meet who have no idea who he is. You have to know who he is if you want to consider yourself a well-informed American. Read his book Permanent Record.)

  • Be careful with what you post online
  • Step away from the major social media players and consider alternative outlets. If you’re on Telegram, check out Daisy’s new channel.
  • If an officer makes one of these cards on you, delete all your accounts and make new ones

Or, better yet, step away from social media altogether.

The only way I know of here to ‘buck the system’ is for you to step away from social media altogether. Will you lose all of your histories with that account? Yep. But I can guarantee you it beats Big Brother surveillance.

The world is creeping toward total surveillance more every day

Keep your eyes peeled for these types of technologies and policies. You’re only going to see more of them in the future. Be sure to subscribe to our daily newsletter and Telegram channel to stay up to date.

What would you do if you were stopped by police for no reason and asked for your private information? Would you comply? If not, how would you get out of the situation without being arrested? Do you expect to see this spread outside of Los Angeles? Share your thoughts on this invasive surveillance in the comments.

About Aden

Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to,,,,, and Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

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Aden Tate

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  • Just one more reason we have not set foot in CA, WA, nor OR in years. We also TRY to avoid doing business with companies HQd there.
    At this time, we mostly have freedom to decide who we do business with. Since money and power are all they understand, we use it where we can.

  • What did ya expect from Kalifornia? This isn’t a problem everywhere.
    Y’all either got to fix it or deal with it.
    It’s always easier to maintain something than it is to fix it for future reference. That requires more work however.

  • “LAPD officers can stop anyone, whether they are arresting them or not, and ask them to fill these cards out. [source] It’s up to the officer’s discretion whether the field interview card is filled out or not.”

    Who the FK is STUPID enough to fill out the card out correctly??!!

    • I agree, you’d need to be extremely stupid to comply with this. The attempt to get these subscribers up in arms over this is pitiful and only the most uneducated and uninformed will fall for it.

  • Unbelievable and yet I know it’s probably true.

    I wonder what Herr Officer would say to someone without social media accounts? Never could bring myself to join any of those knowing what we know about the people behind the organizations. I don’t even carry a cell phone.

  • This is no surprise, and I can see it spreading. I’ve read about employers demanding social media passwords as a condition of employment, in fact. It’s not technically legal but it is done. If you want the job, then you have to cough up your passwords. Personally I’ve largely left social media entirely, and even watch what I say here. I try to post nothing that I wouldn’t want to see at my trial. The Internet is not the place to run one’s mouth, even under a pseudonym. While many states have passed legislation prohibiting the practice, I don’t believe it’s stopped entirely. Even this site is monitored, judging by how it was de-funded. Let’s be careful out there, folks. Bummer for me-I never bought a gun without viewing Hickok45’s review of it. Sigh.

  • Ultimately it all comes down to trust!
    I’ve had experiences where the social platform I was using abused all my privacy settings.
    When I tried to contact them about why I was ignored on each occasion.
    So I deleted everything in 2014.
    None of them can be trusted.
    So they get as little data from me as possible.
    They don’t deserve it.

  • Folks AmeriKA as we knew it long ago is GONE. DONE. FINISHED. As I see it, we are Germany II and it is the late 1930’s. We either get our heads out of our a$$e$ and start fight back or we are DOOMED period. I beg folks – the writing is so painfully and obviously written all over the walls of this country.

  • I don’t understand why anyone would fill the card out. Just say no! I’m not giving that information to anyone for any reason. Throw me in jail if you want. But, better get ready for a lawsuit.

    People, everything you do, say, think, feel is a choice. You don’t have to comply. It’s a choice. You choose to comply or you can choose not to. Either way will have consequences, but stop letting these people stomp all over you. Stand up for yourself!

  • From the very first laptop and all phones with cameras I have had the camera lens covered.
    I remember reading or Orwells 1984 in 1972 in high school. I I have always been concerned of a hacker taking pictures and it’s not that the government can’t and doesn’t collect data. But in the past everyone was just another person unless they were flagged. To be flagged they actually had to suspect you of something. But of course in recent years almost everyone’s picture has been scanned. And not just by computer or cell phone. I am still a nobody keep a low profile and the only social media would be on a form such as this or an occasional YouTube channel with a benign comment. I never been on Facebook Tweedy or any of the others. And I’ve told family friends and neighbors do not ever talk of me or you will see a change in my demeanor. L A is like a dozen other major cities. The ones that ignore Constitution. But I always treat an officer with respect, they have a difficult job to do. And often times they do it with very little appreciation. I tend to be straightforward and answer the simple questions without hesitation. This sets up in their mind you have nothing to hide and they will move on. But if they were prying into something personal I did not want to answer, I would tell them straight out- you will need to get a warrant. But that has never happened your demeanor when talking to an officer means everything. It doesn’t matter if you call it profiling or discernment they have to make a judgment call. And frankly why would they even interact unless you were suspected of something. I’m sure gang members feel harassed. They should, they are gang members. One needs to re-evaluate where they live. Living within a police state in America for right now is by choice. And frankly all coastlines will become extremely dangerous in the near future. But that’s another topic.

  • I have NEVER had an account I have NEVER used zuckerbergur and have NEVER been to that site or any other sm site since the internet was started. I have NEVER had one of these F’d up phone things and NEVER will. I would stomp the thing into the concrete sidewalk into small pieces of plastic. I will NEVER EVER use sm sites. Also another thing I can brag about is I have not watched a TV since 2003. I still have a dvd player and an old VCR to watch sometimes. I REFUSE to watch anything on the TV. I HAVE NEVER WATCHED anything from netflix either. NEVER. I have a landline phone without an answering machine if I happen to get a call sometime. How can anyone participate in these things is beyond me. One a these days I am going to smash a phone into the sidewalk. I will NEVER use one or carry one. NEVER.

    • However, it is good to keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on in the world. We should always know what our enemies are up to or we won’t be prepared.

      No one, not even a criminal, is required to talk to the police. No matter how much they might try to coerce, manipulate, or badger, you do not have to ever talk to them. Just ask for a lawyer, if necessary.

  • I would just tell them ” Ronald J Grump” and “Pess Off!”.

    Picked up on another site ” Modern Survival Blog” that J.P. Sears has one heck of a video out today
    @ Waken with J.P./ youtube

    It looks like the storm clouds are gathering and Civil War is near from J.P.’s words.

  • What would I do? Something criminals are usually too stupid to do – say the 4 magic words “I want a lawyer.” Or just keep my mouth shut and keep on walking. Of course, if they persist, I could throw up a few signs and act like I’m deaf (note to self, learn how to sign “I am deaf” in American sign language). Unless I’m under arrest, I don’t have to talk to the cops. And if I am under arrest, I have the right to remain silent. So I have the right to not talk to the cops, and I would exercise that right.

    And as Bill said, avoid the West Coast (and the Northeast, while you’re at it).

    Oh, and what’s nice for me is that I gave up Farcebook last year (completely deleted my account), never use Twatter or Instagram, etc. Sure, I have a couple of alternate social media accounts (MeWe, etc.) but I never post anything. So go ahead, fuzz, try following me on social media, won’t do you any good.

  • It’s abuse from pd’s like this that make me shake my head in amusement. On one hand we have the defund movement and on the other we have back the blue. Both emotionally, politically charged and interdependent notions. One cannot survive without the other. Both controls over the general population to confuse and divide.

    And in the middle the police. Not helping themselves in any way, doing things like this. Pathetically complicit, obviously unaware, following unconstitutional orders.

    I remember after the big elections here in the USA, after the washington thingy happened, the controlled left was saying all republicans are enemies of the state. We all laughed at them. Sure. Come and get all 150MM of us! Ha!

    Well, this is how they’re going to do it. Use your own personal posts on SM against you and roll everyone into one huge RICO warrant.

    Just my theory.

  • 1 if uniformed vermin (uv) initiate contact with you, ignore the vermin

    2 if uv continue to attempt to interact with you, ask if it is a security guard. security guards often dress in costumes indistinguishable from those of vermin.

    3 if uv denies being a security guard, ask, what is it?

    4 if uv claims to be a law enforcer, demand to see job-related id.

    5 no established law prohibits you from refusing to accommodate vermin who refuse to show valid job-related id. nor does established law prohibit you from using defensive up-to-lethal acts against vermin who refuse to show job-related id and then assault you.

    6 most likely, uv will refuse to show job-related id and will soon go away. when I demand that uv show id, they go away.

    7 make sure that you demand to see job-related id at the very beginning of the encounter.

  • So, you do NOT have to do this. In fact, legally, an officer cannot, repeat, CAN NOT, detain you unless he has legal reason to stop you because he suspects you broke a law. They really cannot even ask for your ID, especially if just walking along the road.

    You can politely decline. You can ask if you’ve done anything wrong, are you under arrest, etc, and if the answer is no, tell them you will be on your way then.

    Also, you can happily make up false information… should you choose to fill out the stupid cards.

  • If you’re still in Los Assholez then you get what you deserve. Live in the Devil’s playground & you get Burned.

  • Soooo, I have no social media, no handheld electronic device of any sort. Does that mean the LAPD can give me a beat-down? No worries. I have no intention of going to Newsomefornia.

  • I would highly recommend against falsifying any official document, whether legally served or not. Not filling one out or answering questions is one thing. Lying to law enforcement, verbally or through written content have their own set of laws and rules. It does not matter that the precedent that law enforcement can lie, mislead, cajole, and intimidate even if you cannot. They are restricted about some things, such as lying about whether or not something is illegal (I think).

    Never give anyone any ammunition which can be used against you, either about the possible commission of some crime, or creating the situation where you can be shown to have lied, and therefore are automatically suspect about everything else.

    Do not speak or ask for an attorney. If the LEO believes they have a legitimate reason to detain you they will detain you. Do not resist. Take it up through channels. You will not win on the street. Better to get satisfaction (and a bit of your own back) by beating them at their own game. The law.

    Plus, no matter how minor an offense might be, jaywalking, parking ticket, tail light not operating, anything, if the LEO detains you, or says they are going to detain or arrest you, if you offer resistance, any resistance, including verbal, they must (there is some leeway, fortunately, but not much) carry out their legally obligated duty.

    That means, you are going to be taken in, one way or another. If you resist, you will suffer physical methods to subdue you, and they will not be gentle, again, no matter what the original offense was. That is not why they are now detaining you the hard way. It is because you are resisting arrest. Completely different set of laws.

    The situation does not have to be all that extreme for an officer to escalate the confrontation significantly if there is continued resistance, especially if it contains verbal threats against the officer and especially their family. And if the situation escalates to the point where you break away and run (or drive) away, the officer has the legal right to stop you with deadly force if he/she believes you are a danger to them, the public, or yourself.

    The overwhelming majority of LEOs are not going to take it that far, but I do not believe any of them will allow anyone to get by with resisting what they believe to be a lawful request or order. (And remember, they can be wrong, simply because they are mistaken, without any malice intended. And even if there is, better to cooperate and beat them in court by showing that there was malice, since you did not resist, even when they did things they were not allowed to do.)

    All the resistance does is bring additional suspicion onto you, because, right or wrong, resistance, flight, and to a degree, silence, can and often are taken as indications of wrongdoing.

    Does anyone really want to get shot and killed for resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, and flight to avoid arrest and prosecution, over a jaywalking stop?

    Now, if/when things get to the point where the law is no longer the law, but tyranny, things will be different, with different actions warranted. Same thing if it is a case of a dirty cop that is actually out to get you. Different circumstances, and I am not sure how to suggest handling that.

    Just my opinion.

  • Nice thing about being an old fart; No social media accounts.
    Another nice thing: I don’t live in CA.
    No smart phone either. Old cellphone spends 99% of its life in my metal office desk drawer.
    That means TPT(S)B probably get most of their info from my occasional comments here.

  • Kali in the rearview mirror 47 years ago was a sweet sight. The longer I live the better I like that memory.

    Of course the insanity has a way of spilling over into everywhere.

    Seems like a bit of an overreach going on. Still the whole country seems to have gone a bit insane too.

  • I believe that everyone should give the same name; “Lazy Duther” works for me. Maybe ” Bo Jiden” or “Oarrack Bama” . The possibilities are endless. Cill Binton, or Chillery Binton maybe?

    Of course there are all those names from Junior high like “Ivan Yaginov”

  • I always thought that social media was a pretty bad idea. I have a couple of social media accounts, that I use mainly to check what other people have posted on social media, when it just happens that the information doesn’t seem to be anywhere but in social media. I can understand that social media can be convenient when it’s just a small group of people sharing information that has no great relevance to anyone else. But I’m surprised that there are still people that use social media for any other purpose and don’t have the same information also out of social media. Putting any information of any significance only on social media just risks it being supressed or changed when you least expect it, and who would want that?

    I wouldn’t even be surprised at all if social media turns out to be something that one day disappears from the Internet, when everybody realises that it was a bad idea all along and that there is no ethical business model for social media companies. So if only for that reason, if I had anything important on social media only, I’d be copying it to other places right away.

  • What happens in LA if someone asked for Social Media User Names by LAPD refuses to do so? Are they arrested? What if a bogus Social Media User Name Given? Is refused or faulty info an arrestable offense in California… or anywhere?

  • I skipped over much of the article because all that LA crap is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. I’m not on any social media, but if I were its none of their business and they wouldn’t get squat from me. If more people knew their individual rights (given from God, not government) and refused to comply these sorts of unconstitutional intrusions would dry up and blow away. People need to stop being sheep, especially now.

  • I’m of two minds about this. Some of my heroes in the world today are people who have been willing to put their names and careers on the line in the fight for liberty. If you’re not willing to fight for it, do you even deserve it?

    On the other hand, it never hurts to be clever.

    Preppers are predisposed to survive, it’s a distinctly individualist attitude, and I’m in favor of it. On the other hand, perhaps our best chance of survival may be together, and throwing your hat into the ring with all you’ve got may save the day.

    I don’t know.

  • Hi there, while I’m typing this…I’m aware of “entrapment games”. And surveillance too. That means what I’m written here a third party is reading. Never click on a link from someone you don’t know that well. My phone is being tracked remotely. I realized this weeks ago. After I clicked in a few text msg, with pictures/videos. Before that I suspected my phone conversations was being recorded. I had not committed any crime. But, seems like there were traps put in place. I became aware. I wish I can give all the details of the traps. I can’t. My phone is “infected” phone was hot hot, battery drained fast. Notification started to pooping up like never before. LTE dissapeared from screen. Websites I used to visit. Started to act different while I browsed than ever before. A international phone call instead of ringing the call. Never rang and all the suddenly the person on the other side ..answered Hi. That was another sign something was not right. One email account do not allows me to see any email for the current month. Another thing, Facebook showed/suggested I may know some “people”, so suggested this people as friends. Usually that means this people were checking my profile. To my surprise…” a local court judge” ????was suggested.
    ” interesting “. I never knew about him. Now, I know. I write personal opinions in a website where everybody share their points of views. This past month, current month my viewers “skyrocketed”. I know why!. Watching me u know who. Out of nowhere a folk in that site personally attacked me after reading something I wrote. Sounds like someone who dislike me ( not make sense). Perphas all is connected with the “surveillance “, or not. There is nothing Paranoid about this. When I started to add up a bunch of different incidents online, in the streets ( game traps), online ( game trap). I realized what was going on. I wish I could be more clear. Now, I’m trying to figure out who is the culprit, the one who caused this. I had 3 people in mind. Two had military background. One worked for the usa government in their computers. And another I’m suspicious he may not work in what he claims to work. He looks like could had been in the Navy. I did talked with someone that work in computers for DHS…uhmm.
    Is clear I’m been watched when I’m on certain places. The cars with the ” government plates “. Doing U turns in front of me. I didn’t failed for what was a clear
    ” entrapment ” from a plain cop or undercover. As this people watch my phone, apps use, photos, msg. I can said is clear they’re in a dating application thinking I’m going to send them a msg. Yes, how come ? I have like 100/150 likes from guys 6′, 6’2,6’5,6’7. All of them looks like army, cops, dhs officers. I’m not Stupid!!. ???????? and I went to the supermarket and out of nowhere. 3 tall giants. Entered right behind me. One followed me, he lost me in the store. So, he turned his face left and right. Not knowing where I went. When he spotted me again. He looked at me, I looked at him right back. And he was so nervous…he grabbed a bag of bread quickly and dissapeared in a instant. Another of the “giants” hidded behind a glass shelf and pick up some cold cuts, while he raised his head up to lookout for me. Was so clear what was going on. Nobody fools here!. Other weird things happened with the utilities company too. I wouldn’t explain. Everything add up. Is a Violation of my Privacy! I have to change my behavior because this ” spyware/spying people”. My phone is useless. Not matter if I reset to factory. The hardware is infected. So, I will get a new one. Believe me ! There is people online pretending to be regular folks in reality some are there to place traps on people. Signs…they sent you unrequested naked pictures. They sent you links to videos or photos you didn’t asked for. That was my case. I thought was “weird”. I’m aware what is cooking behind the scenes and I will not be surprised what will be the next thing to come. Maybe, they are angry because I blame some government agency for indirectly killing my late husband. I know about a doctor who treated my husband was downgraded in his position and later fired for speaking up publicly about this government
    ” health provider”. Not, sure if it make sense anything I said to you. To me that. Another subject interesting to read is “gangstalker”.

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