Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Big Sis is watching

Homeland Security monitors journalists
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. (Emphasis mine)
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.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s own definition of personal identifiable information, or PII, such data could consist of any intellect “that permits the identity of an individual to be directly or indirectly inferred, including any information which is linked or linkable to that individual.” Previously established guidelines within the administration say that data could only be collected under authorization set forth by written code, but the new provisions in the NOC’s write-up means that any reporter, whether someone along the lines of Walter Cronkite or a budding blogger, can be victimized by the agency.
Also included in the roster of those subjected to the spying are government officials, domestic or not, who make public statements, private sector employees that do the same and “persons known to have been involved in major crimes of Homeland Security interest,” which to itself opens up the possibilities even wider.
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.
The development out of the DHS comes at the same time that U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady denied pleas from supporters of WikiLeaks who had tried to prevent account information pertaining to their Twitter accounts from being provided to federal prosecutors. Jacob Applebaum and others advocates of Julian Assange’s whistleblower site were fighting to keep the government from subpoenaing information on their personal accounts that were collected from Twitter.
Last month the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk Massachusetts District Attorney subpoenaed Twitter over details pertaining to recent tweets involving the Occupy Boston protests.
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.


Shit, tell me something I don't already know. Washington DC, McClean VA, Ft Huachuca AZ, Bethesda MD, Quantico VA - all them mysterious places show up on my sitemeter fairly regularly. Big Fucking Deal. But if they monitor bloggers, they're damned sure checking up on Donnie Ray Baker that writes for the Oakdale Bi-weekly Penny Saver (free at your local market).


Sammy said...

Y'know man, I hate how feeble my li'l brain is sometimes. The past few days, I've spent idle moments here and there trying to figure out what the payoff would be to the folks that are behind all this stuff.

I mean, is it about money (most likely to me)? Power? If so, what would they do with it? And while we're at it, who, exactly, are "THEY"? Or is it like in the USSR where they didn't want their li'l feelings hurt by hearing about some common peasants that think they're fulla shit?

I mean, I know that the majority of the american public just want to be kept fed and entertained so a docile population would be pretty easy to keep in check...BUT...

What's the end result? It can't be so some dumb bastard could walk around with his finger in the air yelling, "I'M KING!!!", could it?

I guess it just takes a smarter fella than me to get how it all fits together.

Scott B. said...

I can tell you why Quantico shows up. I'm with the DOD overseas (in Japan), and when I surf the net at work, our servers are proxied thru Quantico. When I surf from home it should reflect a visitor from Japan.

And my HQ's move to Quantico is fairly recent. Previously they were at the Navy Yard in Washington, so my visit would have been logged for there as well.

Of course, none of this means you aren't being watched by someone else.

Anonymous said...

Let Janet Nat fuck Obama with a 12 inch strap on.

wirecutter said...

Thanks, Scott. I do get a lot of APO and FPO hits too. For some reason I seem to be pretty popular with our troops.

Skip said...

And why not? You are one of us.