Big brother now spies on journalists, keeps records of online activity
by: Ethan A. Huff
Saturday, February 04, 2012
What began as a simple program to address safety and security issues at the 2010 Winter Olympics has become a massive online spying operation targeted at journalists and writers. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Media Monitoring Initiative (MMI) has been expanded to collect and track information from online forums, blogs, public websites, message boards, and social networking sites, as well as gather “personally identifiable information” (PII) on journalists and media writers.
According to the DHS report, the MMI expansion includes collecting PII on news anchors, newscasters, on-scene reporters, both on camera and on the internet, and various other media personalities who “use traditional and / or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed” — so basically anyone, in other words.
It also includes collecting personal information on US and foreign government officials, US and foreign government spokespersons, as well as those from private sector companies, and practically any other individuals that make public statements or that provide “public updates” in any way shape or form. Such individuals are conveniently all lumped together in the same list with terrorists and drug cartel leaders, which suggests that information gatherers and disseminators are now a threat to DHS.