Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Homeland Security Dept. Pays General Dynamics to Scour Internet for Criticism of its Policies

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been paying a defense contractor $11.4 million to monitor social media websites and other Internet communications to find criticisms of the department’s policies and actions.

A government watchdog organization, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), obtained hundreds of documents from DHS through the Freedom of Information Act and found details of the arrangement with General Dynamics. The company was contracted to monitor the Web for “reports that reflect adversely on DHS,” including sub-agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Ginger McCall, director of EPIC’s Open Government Project, stated that “the agency is monitoring constantly, under very broad search terms, and is not limiting that monitoring to events or activities related to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or manmade disasters….The DHS has no legal authority to engage in this monitoring.”

McCall added: “This has a profound effect on free speech online if you feel like a government law enforcement agency—particularly the Department of Homeland Security, which is supposed to look for terrorists—is monitoring your criticism, your dissent, of the government.”

No soup for you!


Blogger CI-Roller Dude said...

Do you think the search will find this blog?

11:47 PM  
Blogger madtom said...

Well if they haven't found it yet I'd be insulted

11:52 PM  
Blogger madtom said...

You know years ago I wrote the "to whom it may concern" posted there on the side bar because a milblogger was being harassed, accused of cross posting here, he was being threatened to stop and wrote me an e-mail asking me to delete the post. We all know that I was doing the posting and the milblogger had nothing to do with it at all, I also refused to delete anything.

The good old days

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Military Plaques said...

I'd be shocked that I'm not already on a list somewhere! I know for a fact my dad got on a list 2 years ago when Obama came to town and my dad got interviewed with his doctor buddy. They got a call that night from a friend that works for the NSA saying that both their names were put on a watch list. :)

11:31 AM  

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