Nazi DHS Stonewalls Congress On Social Media Spying

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    DHS Stonewalls Congress On Social Media Spying

    Homeland Security reps refuse to name superiors who ordered federal agency to analyze online dissent

    Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security speaking today at a Congressional hearing regarding the federal agency’s monitoring of social media networks and news websites, including the Drudge Report, were evasive about who ordered them to look for reports or comments that “reflect adversely on the U.S. government and the DHS.”




    The hearing was prompted as a result of the Electronic Privacy Information Center obtaining 300 documents through a Freedom of Information Act request which detailed how DHS had hired an outside contractor, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, to monitor social media outlets along with a list of websites, on a “24/7/365 basis,” in order to uncover “any media reports that reflect adversely on the U.S. Government and the Department of Homeland Security.”

    The list of websites the DHS requested be monitored for such content included the Drudge Report, Facebook, Twitter, Huffington Post, and GoogleBlogSearch, a service that allows millions of individual blogs to be searched for keywords.

    EPIC submitted a statement to today’s Subcommittee Hearing in which the privacy group demanded the Committee suspend the DHS program, arguing that “The DHS monitoring of social networks and media organizations is entirely without legal basis and threatens important free speech and expression rights.”

    In his opening comments before the Subcommittee Hearing, titled DHS Monitoring of Social Networking and Media: Enhancing Intelligence Gathering and Ensuring Privacy, Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Patrick Meehan spoke of his concerns that “Collecting, analyzing, disseminating private citizens’ comments could have a chilling effect on individuals’ privacy rights and people’s freedom of speech and dissent against their government.”

    Representative Jackie Speier said she was “deeply troubled” by the program, stating DHS “is not a political operation….It should not be a political operation.”

    However, despite Meehan repeatedly pressing both DHS representatives Mary Callahan and Richard Chávez on the issue, they evaded answering questions about who signed off on the contract to have a private company compile reports about online dissent against the DHS and the government, attempting to limit the conversation to DHS’ monitoring of keywords related to natural disasters in a bid to avoid the controversy altogether.

    Continued

    Comment: Good thing what happened in germany can't happen here, this is America where we are free :eusa_whistle:
     

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