It’s an old saying; but some people need it pointing out to them every once in a while. News that the US Homeland Security Department monitors blogs, tweets and discussion forums comes as no surprise. Although I do feel that they are simply looking for trouble, and depending upon who they’re listening to, they may well infer that trouble is brewing. Sometimes where it isn’t.
“documents obtained by EPIC indicate that following the exercise, a procurement official awarded an $11.3 million contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in order to carry out the monitoring on a “24/7/365 basis”
Now I don’t generally link to sites like Infowars, as they tend to come across as a bit histrionic. Yet this little snippet, little reported elsewhere, should come as no surprise. “Intelligence service monitors Internet discussion” Well, no shit Sherlock. They’re in Security, it’s a large part of what they do. If there weren’t Security services, shares in doughnut shops would plummet.
So what if Homeland Security eavesdrop? So what? Well, apart from panicking when UK party animals tweet that they’re going to ‘Destroy’ something on their way into the USA. Not that the pair in question were any loss. Not making public comments about doing something nasty, even in jest, to wherever you’re going should be a no-brainer. Firstly it’s downright impolite, and secondly can and does lead to acute humour failure in people not schooled in the same cultural Ouvre. Especially cops and the like, whose default world view is “What’re you up to, sonny?”
Still, if you go listening for trouble, the one thing is certain; you’re going to find it everywhere.