Big Brother's Eyes are Peeled on Social Networking Sites
You suspected this, didn't you? Your tweets, your Facebook posts, your comments on news and gossip sites and most probably, depending upon your "popularity" and "activity," even your blogs are being watched. Well, not daily, but they are routinely monitored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's command center. That's not just conspiracy "theory" stuff. According to reports, that's what a government document is stating.
Last November, Homeland Security released a "privacy compliance review." This mentioned a "Social Networking/Media Capability" which involved, dare I say it, SPYING on "publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards." Do you think that this is being done in the interest of corporations who want to know every inch of your consumer tastes and habits, addictions and obsessions? Well, is anyone really going to tell you, truly, sincerely, honestly WHY you are being routinely monitored? What is the joke? Then they'd have to KILL YOU, or if not that grave, do something to you to "shut your mouth" to make sure you wouldn't breathe a word of such egregious purpose except to the mice in the attic.
Seriously, though, the government document states that the watchful eye is collecting "information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture." I understand! I get it! Huh? My teachers always told me to be as specific and clear as possible when communicating in writing. But that was at a time before there was such an enterprise as The Department of Homeland Security. There was a CIA and FBI, though. Now, they are all connected and sharing information, are they not? The connections and information sharing could be a good thing if it keeps us all safe.
Back to the obscure purpose of monitoring. The compliance review does state, that the watchfulness will help the Department and its agencies, like the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency, to manage their response to typical events, for example the 2010 earthquake and aftermath in Haiti and security and border control related to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. Well, I'm relieved! I'm sure that my benign blog and my friends' author blogs will not have to be "watched."
Knowledgeable about the program, a Department official reassured Reuters that the monitoring would allow the command center to connect with "various Internet-era media," so they could gauge events as they developed to better enable theirs or other agencies' responses.
That wouldn't relate to concern for a potential American Spring, along the lines of what happened in Egypt or Tunisia last year, would It? Nah! That's conspiracy paranoia. Monitoring is like what we're used to in NYC. "If you see something, say something." Right?Continued on the next page