6 Government Surveillance Programs Designed to Watch What You Do Online
Continued from previous page
The DHS report is part of the EPIC documents acquired through a Freedom of Information request. It details that information was gathered from a variety of sources, including newspaper articles and responses, blogs by local activists, and Twitter and Facebook posts.
The House hearing also shed light on the DHS practice of outsourcing keyword tracking of social media through a sole-source contract to the giant defense contractor, General Dynamics. In 2011, General Dynamics had revenues of $5.5 billion of which 84 percent ($4.6 bil) came from government contracts. Earlier this year, it’s Advanced Information Systems division was awarded a $14 million DHS contract to (in the words of a press release) “provide constant and continual watch operations for critical communications to the agency's National Coordinating Center.” In addition, it will “identify the possible impacts of potentially disruptive events.
In keeping with the prevailing ethos of corporate unaccountability, it turns out if the General Dynamics employees are found to have misused the information garnered from a social network user, including a journalist or public figure, the employee must take a training course or, worst case, lose his/her job. No criminal penalties are specified.
A word to the wise, Big Brother is watching you.