Journalists Now Monitored As Potential Terrorists

(Editor’s note: see The Alien and Sedition Act for some historical parallels here as well as Thomas Jefferson’s response, The Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.)

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.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s own definition of personal identifiable information, or PII, such data could consist of any intellect “that permits the identity of an individual to be directly or indirectly inferred, including any information which is linked or linkable to that individual.” Previously established guidelines within the administration say that data could only be collected under authorization set forth by written code, but the new provisions in the NOC’s write-up means that any reporter, whether someone along the lines of Walter Cronkite or a budding blogger, can be victimized by the agency.

Also included in the roster of those subjected to the spying are government officials, domestic or not, who make public statements, private sector employees that do the same and…


Bryce Shonka is Liberty Voice's new Editor and also serves as the Deputy Director for Tenth Amendment Center. He is happy to be producing content for a new audience and from a new place (Seattle, WA).

1 Comment

  1. RobertNroland

    January 13, 2012 at 10:45 am

    There were much the same provisons in Stalinistic Russia. The all encompassing Criminal code. Art. 10, known as KRA, Counter-Revolutionary Agitation and Anti-Soviet Agitiation. Brought famous trials of any that dared speak or much less print anything other than the approved propaganda. The infamous Article 58 expanded so there was no step, thought, action or lack of action under heavens which could not be punished by *interpretation* of the heavy hand of Art. 58. As for anti-intellectualism (as in Bush administration), the educated classes, *intelligentsia* , and the engineers, were executed or sent to prisons. e.g., the famous Pomparty and Shakhty trials. During Nazi military occupations, e.g., Paris, a major activity was to locate any kill any that spoke contrary to the approved propaganda. History clearly shows nothing stops the expansion of the police state. Never has any tyranny had such a total spy operation against its own people as the U.S. now has, or will soon have, against american citizens.

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