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We get our own KGB! Homeland Security has requested bids on providing a database that will continually track of activities of “journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc.”
The DHS’s “Media Monitoring” plan, which was first reported by FedBizOpps.gov, would give the contracting company “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc.” in order to “identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event.”
The database would be designed to monitor the public activities of media members and influencers by “location, beat and influencers,” the document says.
The chosen contractor should be able to “present contact details and any other information that could be relevant including publications this influencer writes for, and an overview of the previous coverage published by the influencer.”
A Homeland Security official claimed this was “standard practice” but he was either ignorant or lying. This is a new tool for spying on journalists while also obtaining information that can be used against them for political purposes. Any government agency that had proposed such a thing to past American generations would have found itself very quickly shut down. The idea of the government tracking individuals reporting the news would have been considered disgusting and a violation of numerous amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Today however, not so much. We need our KGB, and we are going to get it, come hell or high water!
An added note: Most of the outrage about censorship and spying that we see today in the press is focused on Google, Facebook, and the unsavory stuff these big software companies are doing. These are private efforts, however, and there is a simple solution to stopping their bad behavior: Their customers have to find a competitor who doesn’t do it and switch services.
Unfortunately, we instead have increasing calls for the government to regulate and even break up these companies. This is exactly not what we should do, as it will only place more power in that government. If anything, it will provide justification for the government to spy on journalists and regulate them, as illustrated by this newly proposed law in fascist California.