Green Room

Good News: DHS Spending $11 Million Scouring Web for Criticism of Its Policies

posted at 7:11 am on February 28, 2012 by

I’d have loved to have heard the shrieks of indignation coming from The New York Times and the rest of the leftist infrastructure had John Ashcroft and other Bush administration officials engaged in this kind of egregious behavior.

No double standards here, folks.

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.”

Rest assured that our beloved, baritone DHS secretary — and her ostensible boss, Eric “Fast ‘n’ Furious” Holder — would never, ever use this kind of information to go after private citizens. They’re just doing research.

As far as you know.

Consider this reason number 43,263 to kick this administration’s ample rear out of office in November.

 
Hat tip: BadBlue.com.

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Comments

I’m conflicted here. What DHS is doing is wrong (do I get an ATTACKWATCH dossier for saying that?), but at the same time it’s nice to have at least one manly person in the administration’s cabinet.

Mr. Prodigy on February 28, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Something tells me they are probably working hand in hand with Google.

Sterling Holobyte on February 28, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Rest assured that our beloved, baritone DHS secretary — and her ostensible boss, Eric “Fast ‘n’ Furious” Holder

Quibble here: DHS’s boss is Dear Liar, not Eric “belongs in jail” Holder. They are both Cabinet Secretaries.

rbj on February 28, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Not being too picky here but… could the $11 million be better spent looking for… uhmm… bomb-building terrorists???

Turtle317 on February 28, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Hey Janet, if you’re reading this (and I know you are) then here’s my message for you: resign ASAP.

cicerone on February 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Despicable

cmsinaz on February 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

They don’t call her “Big Sis” for nothing.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Comment writers, you’re all getting IRS audits.

itsnotaboutme on February 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM

to monitor social media websites and other Internet communications

Any speculation on which commenters at Hot Air are the narcs?

;)

malclave on February 28, 2012 at 3:53 PM

They sure know how to waste money … Just like Hugo Chavez.

tarpon on February 28, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Eric Holder is not Incompetano’s boss. They are both heads of Cabinet-level departments.

Hayabusa on February 29, 2012 at 12:05 AM

The DHS has chosen to monitor blogs and social sites because it requires minimal effort(s) on their part. The real threats to our security are probable too sophisticated for DHS to detect, unless they have stupid blind luck.

From my vantage point Big Sis, DHS, and the Obama administration are the real human caused disaster.

JohnFLob on February 29, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Remember reading 1984 and thinking “not in our country”? How wrong. One of these days they’ll arrest one child too many over a lemonade stand, and all heck will break loose.

Stossel has a show wherein he goes into various cases about a bureaucracy gone crazy. A man who served 8 years for importing lobsters in plastic bags instead of boxes; a couple who lost their land because the feds said it was wet-lands and it wasn’t. Rube Goldburg mazes with no appeal. What are we leaving our children?

Portia46 on February 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I will make their job easier and less costly

DHS YOU SUCK !!!!!!!!

Smedley on February 29, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I long, long ago conceded to the fact that I, my comments, my activity on the net, my sites, all of it was being “monitored by DHS” for simple reasons that include: I disagree with their anti-American practices and policies like monitoring citizen activity on the internet for those who disagree with their politics.

That and things like allowing Fast and Furious and border tunnels to flourish. Among other things.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Stossel has a show wherein he goes into various cases about a bureaucracy gone crazy. A man who served 8 years for importing lobsters in plastic bags instead of boxes; a couple who lost their land because the feds said it was wet-lands and it wasn’t. Rube Goldburg mazes with no appeal. What are we leaving our children?

Portia46 on February 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

I saw that Stossel broadcast, too, and the couple who lost their land/property/financial worth because the EPA ruined them over phony charges of them trying to live on/change “a wetland” (after a jury found that the couple wasn’t guilty of such, the EPA stepped in and ‘decided’ they were and then started gargantuan fines daily against them “because they were”), that couple and that story is about the most outrageous example of a federal agency gone insane.

I can’t begin to express just how much I would like to see that couple receive massive financial (and public) compensation for the actions of the EPA and the harms that couple has suffered at the hands of that agency. Seriously, that’s one case about which I would heartily support a massive financial award at the cost of several jobs of several federal employees, that agency and others.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 8:10 PM

From my vantage point Big Sis, DHS, and the Obama administration are the real human caused disaster.

JohnFLob on February 29, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Yes.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 8:11 PM

DHS, I’ll save you time and money -

You’re America’s version of the KGB. Stripping rights and freedom in the name of ‘security’, just like those commie basstards.

As for the victims in the Stossel show, I think placing those bureaucrats and judges who caused those folks the grief should be placed in those folks’ indenture for, say, 10 years.

avgjo on March 1, 2012 at 10:31 AM