Taking a piece from the USPS playbook, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began monitoring public social media posts. Officials say this is an effort to gain information about potential security threats that may come from public publications.
We recently reported that the US Postal Service is using their security division to monitor social media, but this seems to be a more appropriate task for DHS. The post office’s goal was to uncover potential protests that might turn sour, and DHS seems to be looking for the same sort of thing.
The purpose of DHS is not to research specific individuals. Instead, the department is looking for more general topics that could be discussed on social media platforms, much like the attack on the U.S. Capitol perpetuated by supporters of Donald Trump earlier this year.
DHS officials said NBC News this:
âWe’re not looking at who the individual posters are. We take a look at the stories that resonate and spread across platforms. From there, you may be able to determine which potential targets you need to protect. “
While there are many who oppose the idea of ââgovernment agencies monitoring social media posts, DHS believes it will be beneficial as a counterterrorism effort. While DHS doesn’t seem to be looking for specific individuals, it’s more likely that the department is monitoring trends in positions that could indicate something bigger.
While it’s not necessarily great that government agencies like DHS have the green light to monitor our social media posts, the premise behind it makes sense. And it definitely looks better to have DHS at work, rather than USPS. It seems to me that they need to focus more on getting my mail on time.