Homeland Security to track journalists and bloggers in the media


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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.

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15 comments

  • wayne

    Steppenwolf
    “Monster/Suicide/America” 1970
    https://youtu.be/v9456xD9B-M
    9:16

  • I’ve noted that the Left has successfully divorced actions from consequences. And I’ll wager that very few California journalists voting Democrat realize this is the world they voted for.

    Not sure how California plans on enforcing the law. Under the wording any one with a website would be subject to its restrictions. Will they become China, and erect a firewall at the border? The Commerce Clause is such an inconvenient thing.

  • Jim Davis

    A Homeland Security official claimed this was “standard practice” but he was either ignorant or lying.

    I don’t think so. Large organizations are always interested in what kind of press they are getting. In the past they would hire “clipping services” that would go through all print media and “clip” any mention of the client. This looks to be the modern digital equivalent.

  • Jim Davis: The clipping services were far different than what is being proposed. Then, it was looking at the press coverage, in general. Now, it is tracking the individual journalists, as persons. This is far different, and smacks of a kind of government overreach and oppressiveness that I find very disgusting.

  • Edward

    Robert wrote: “A Homeland Security official claimed this was “standard practice” but he was either ignorant or lying.

    Except that Obama spied on journalists. Precedence was set by Obama’s administration. Obama seems to have made spying on journalists “standard practice” in America.

    Welcome to Obama’s America, land of the formerly free.

  • Phill O

    “Escape From Freedom” Eric Fromm

    Fromm what I remember of this book, it is insightful. What I did not know when read some 50 years ago, was the setting the author wrote fromm.

    Certainly describes what we are seeing now.

  • Max

    Edward Snowden warned us of this when he leaked;
    https://theintercept.com/2015/02/19/great-sim-heist/
    Very long but detailed, no one’s communications are safe…
    “The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.”
    The deep state is getting close to the goal of world domination.

  • Phill O

    The threat of terrorism may be the tipping point where we accept this.

  • pzatchok

    If they only followed the subject of the articles then its like an old clipping service.

    But if they are following the author then its something else.

    Most authors follow patterns of writing about a set of subjects they normally do or think they know about.

    Why would or should the government care?

    Now if they said they were trying to follow the writings of terrorist and thus watch for a pattern or tip off of activity then it might be plausible.

  • Cotour

    SENATOR / CONGRESSMAN COTOUR (I can not decide which I aspire to be) :

    MY QUESTIONS FOR MR. ZUKERBERG:

    Mr. Zukerberg, you say that you have about 20,000 employees working on security at Facebook. Security activities like ferreting out “terrorists” and “dangerous speech”.

    And Mr. Zukerberg you have plainly stated here that where you come from and where you do business, Silicon Valley, is an extremely Left oriented place related to politics.

    Q: Who sets the standards and parameters for these “Security” actions that Facebook takes in the form of banning members and their speech or any other punitive actions including out right banning of individuals or being placed in “Facebook Jail”?

    Q: Are the security actions taken by Facebook a function of personal Subjective judgment on the part of the security employees or are there Objective and neutral metrics laid out that govern these security actions I.E. controlling speech or limiting First Amendment Rights of Americans?

    Q: How are you working to be as neutral as possible related to free speech and your security employees personal opinions and First Amendment Rights of Americans?

    Q: Are you / Facebook focused related to political speech to allow certain speech and limiting other speech based on Facebooks internal political cultural views?

    Can you have your people get back to me with these specific answers please? Thank you.

  • Cotour

    FREE SPEECH FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE (I am not shouting here, this is a headline)

    Representative Johnson (An empowered black American Liberal Democrat politician) attempts to condescend and diminish and shame the internet phenomenons Diamond & Silk because they are 1. Conservative, very vocal, very popular and support president Trump. And 2.Because they have a business model to also monetize their very unique and popular videos and associated fame related to their free speech and he totally either through ignorance or his perverted Liberal Democrat agenda fails to understand that these ladies First Amendment rights are absolutely being denied with extreme prejudice by Facebook based in Facebook’s political orientation, Liberal / Leftist.

    Facebook effectively endeavors to deny these ladies their access to the American dream of building their brand and business and attempts to deny them their First Amendment and free speech rights.

    (And please, you lawyers out there that see this do not argue that Facebook is a private company and can censor whom they please when ever they please. While possibly technically correct we can all see the heinous nature of their prejudice and vial manipulations to promote and support their particular political (Leftist and anti American) world view. Just don’t bother so you do not embarrass yourselves)

    https://youtu.be/uCpH9GC2M2o ; 5min

    I think it is a sure bet that the president will be signing some level of legislation that tends to guarantee the individuals free speech rather than allowing a massive and as of today self regulated internet business platform that has become ubiquitous in our culture to pick and choose who is allowed free speech and more importantly who is not allowed to have free speech in America today and in the future.

    A shameful outrage!

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    I’d suggest….if the headline is in all caps– retype the headline!
    :)

    referencing “legislation protecting free speech,”– it’s called the 1st amendment. We don’t need Mitch & Ryan “protecting free speech,” we need the Executive Branch to carry out it’s duties, one of which is, protecting free speech.

    Referencing Hank Johnson– he’s been a moron, for quite some time.

    Guam will Capsize and Tip Over into the ocean
    Hank Johnson
    June 2011
    https://youtu.be/cesSRfXqS1Q
    2:03

  • Cotour

    A headline is a headline.

    I remember that Hank Johnson moment where Guam was capsizing and also remember that he was at the time allegedly taking some drug possibly for Hep C that whacked him out, and so I gave him some wiggle room for the moment.

    But that was then and this is now and his, what I might characterize as racism, towards these outspoken Conservative black ladies is just a pure naked attempt at a failed political hit job. They and their “outrageous” thinking that they might benefit from their notoriety in how they express their free speech is the problem in his failed political hit attempt.

    Here is Rep. Kings response: https://youtu.be/cMYFN_tIbEs ; 6min

    The internet and the company’s that have essentially self regulated themselves time has come based on how they have conducted themselves related to their overarching fiduciary responsibilities, the nature of man is to abuse power. And this is a prime example of that absolute rule. Remember when Alan Greenspan said “I thought the banks would properly self regulate themselves” in his interview AFTER the 2008 crash?

    (I hope you are doing well, and thanks for having the bravery to interact with me here on BTB)

  • Cotour

    Further evidence to support the thinking that the internet is biased in a very Liberal / Leftist fashion and needs some form of supervision related to individuals rights:

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/03/22/facebook-newsfeed-suppress-conservatives/

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    hey!
    -no time to play on the internet, as much as I had grown accustomed!
    I do try however, to at least skim everyone’s comments, here.

    Yeah…Hank claimed later he was ‘joking.’ (even if we gave him the benefit of the doubt…he’s still a moron.)

    D&S– “conservative” might not be the first word that pops into my head, but I don’t want to quibble with defining terms.(and I’ll take them as allies, any day.)
    — I ran across D&S early on, and it was highly amusing. More power to them for monetizing their content. They need to branch out however, cuz’ they are sorta at the mercy of facebook/youtube right now. (If they had to pay for the bandwidth on Youtube’s end, they would have a different Model.)
    They have just enough reach to be a thorn in the side of YouTube, but not enough to command more fair treatment. (although, their FOX appearances no doubt drive traffic)

    Pivoting–and speaking of alternative-platforms…. who has been following the interesting lawsuit/arbitration, between Mark Steyn & CRTV? (Steyn won a $4 million judgement.)

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