NEWS & ANALYSIS

Biden Administration Eyes Creation of Stasi-Styled Group to Monitor Service Members’ Activities 


The Biden administration is preparing to engage with private firms that will monitor the social media accounts of service members in efforts to weed out those with views that are “concerning.” 

As reported by The Intercept

“An extremism steering committee led by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to the secretary of defense, is currently designing the social media screening pilot program, which will “continuously” monitor military personnel for “concerning behaviors,” according to a Pentagon briefing in late March.” 

Before, this type of monitoring was looked down upon due to First Amendment restrictions on government protections. But with the Biden administration, anything goes. 

The current first place candidate for the job is Babel Street, a company that sells powerful surveillance tools including social media monitoring software. 

The pilot program will search for certain keywords to identify those that the administration considers potential extremists: a total invasion of privacy, and a flawed one. 

“Using keywords to monitor social media isn’t just an unnecessary privacy invasion, it is a flawed strategy that will ensure it is short-lived,” retired FBI agent Mike German said. “It will undoubtedly produce a flood of false positives that will waste security resources and undermine morale without identifying the real problem, which is the tolerance for those that openly engage in racist behavior and discrimination.”