Is Anybody Listening?

Politically oriented bloggers and users of social networking sites: if you ever wondered whether all your efforts were for naught, or whether your government indeed paid attention to your most passionate rants, wonder no more. Here’s the New York Times:

Federal Contractor Monitored Social Network Sites

Published: January 13, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security paid a contractor in 2009 to monitor social networking sites — like Facebook, blogs and reader comments on a news article — to see how the residents of Standish, Mich., were reacting to a proposal to move detainees from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to a local prison there, according to newly disclosed documents.

While it has long been known that the department monitors the Internet for information about emerging threats to public safety like a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, the documents show that its Social Networking/Media Capability program, at least in an early stage, was also focused on “public reaction to major governmental proposals with homeland security implications.”

“All the little birdies go tweet tweet… tweet…”

So how did they find out what they wanted to know? A little bird told them…

This is the “security” you pay for with your taxes: somebody monitors your tweets and your blog posts. Ain’t life grand?

(H/T Mustang Bobby.)

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  • MandT  On Sunday January 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    One word comes to mind: ‘Stasi.’

    • Steve  On Monday January 16, 2012 at 10:26 am

      MandT, the Stasi are only one among many ideologically driven secret police forces in history. Monitoring citizens has a long and dishonorable history; it requires that “eternal vigilance” somebody mentioned (possibly Wendell Phillips, abolitionist, or possibly Andrew Jackson) to keep it out of any government.

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