Just sit back for a minute and imagine the howls from the media if it was disclosed that George W. Bush’s Department of Homeland Security was monitoring the social media activity of journalists. The word Nixonian would be trending on Twitter and you could be assured the daily White House press briefing would turn into a free-for-all.
Well, it’ll be interesting to see the reaction of Obama’s adoring White House press corps when they discover their activities are being tracked by the Department of Homeland Security.
Freedom of speech might allow journalists to get away with a lot in America, but the Department of Homeland Security is on the ready to make sure that the government is keeping dibs on who is saying what.
Under the National Operations Center (NOC)’s Media Monitoring Initiative that came out of DHS headquarters in November, Washington has the written permission to retain data on users of social media and online networking platforms.
Specifically, the DHS announced the NCO and its Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS) can collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”
Now granted what reporters and anchors tweet is available publicly, but one can only imagine the chilling effect this could have. It stands to reason if these reporters and news anchors believe what they’re saying is being compiled into a database then they’ll pretty much clam up and stay silent.
Come to think of it, in some cases that’s probably a public service for which we should be thankful. It’s curious how those so-called journalists at the recent GOP debates haven’t brought this subject to light.
Of course with the all-important concerns over contraception, it’s easy to see why they would overlook such egregious intrusions into their lives.
The department says that they will only scour publically-made info available while retaining data, but it doesn’t help but raise suspicion as to why the government is going out of their way to spend time, money and resources on watching over those that helped bring news to the masses.
In the case of the Obama administration, it’s pretty much akin to the boss monitoring the e-mail activity of his employees. Just keeping them in line.
Let’s see if any of Obama’s media sycophants even register a complaint.
In case you were wondering, this media surveillance began in 2010.
The website Fast Company reports that the intel collected by the Department of Homeland Security under the NOC Monitoring Initiative has been happening since as early as 2010 and the data is being shared with both private sector businesses and international third parties.