Police want easier peek at your Internet activities
Pocono Record ^ | March 18, 2013 | ERIC BOEHM
Posted on Monday, March 18, 2013 11:59:03 AM by RBW in PA
The state House is set to vote today on a bill that would allow law enforcement to obtain permission from a district attorney or attorney general — instead of requiring a warrant from a judge — to force Internet service providers to turn over potentially sensitive personal data about what Pennsylvanians are doing online.
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)’sMedia 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.
Freedom of speech might allow journalists to get away with a lot in America, but the Department of Homeland Security is on the ready to make sure that the government is keeping dibs on who is saying what.
Under the National Operations Center (NOC)’s Media Monitoring Initiative that came out of DHS headquarters in November, Washington has the written permission to retain data on users of social media and online networking platforms.
Specifically, the DHS announced the NCO and its Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS) can collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”
ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDANCE
UNOFFICIAL INTERNET POSTS
a. This guidance is provided for Marines who, in their personal capacity, desire to make unofficial posts online, regarding Marine Corps-related topics. (The term “Marines” on this guidance refers to active-duty and reserve Marines and sailors).
“Unofficial Internet posts,” referred to below, are considered any content about the Marine Corps or related to the Marine Corps that are posted on any Internet site by Marines in an unofficial and personal capacity. Content includes, but is not limited to, personal comments, photographs, video, and graphics. Internet sites include social networking sites, blogs, forums, photo and video-sharing sites, and other sites to include sites not owned, operated or controlled by the Marine Corps or Department of Defense.
b. Unofficial Internet posts are not initiated by any part of the Marine Corps or reviewed within any official Marine Corps approval process. By contrast, official Internet posts involve content released in an official capacity by public affairs Marines, Marine Corps Community Services marketing directors, or commanders designated as releasing authorities. Policy for Family Readiness Officers will be provided in separate guidance.
c. In accordance with these guidelines, Marines are encouraged to responsibly engage in unofficial Internet posts about the Marine Corps and Marine Corps-related topics. The Marine Corps performs a valuable service around the world every day and Marines are often in the best position to share the Marine Corps’ story with the domestic and foreign publics.
a. Marines are personally responsible for all content they publish on social networking sites, blogs, or other websites. In addition to ensuring Marine Corps content is accurate and appropriate, Marines also must be thoughtful about the non-Marine related content they post, since the lines between a Marine’s personal and professional life often blur in the online space. Marines must be acutely aware that they lose control over content they post on the Internet and that many social media sites have policies that give these sites ownership of all content and information posted or stored on those systems. Thus Marines should use their best judgment at all times and keep in mind how the content of their posts will reflect upon themselves, their unit, and the Marine Corps.