Thursday, December 29, 2011

EPIC Lawsuit Demands Details About DHS Covert Social-Networking Surveillance

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), has filed suit in US District Court against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The grounds for the suit is a refusal by DHS to reply to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by EPIC in April of this year,  as well as to acknowledge EPIC as news media, and to pay EPIC’s legal bills for the suit.

EPIC is trying to force disclosure of the details in the DHS Social Media Monitoring Networking Program where they will monitor public postings on Twitter and Facebook.   DHS plans to create fictitious user accounts -  fake accounts on social networking sites - and scan posts of users for specific keywords, and then that user data will be stored and analyzed and then disseminated to federal, state, local, and foreign governments and private sector partners,” according to an EPIC court filing.

A few “key” words DHS plans to include are: “diseases” “bio weapons” “human to animal” “outbreak” “illegal immigrant”

DHS will use this information gathered without a warrant from online forums, blogs, public websites, and message boards to establish a system of records that can be easily accessed for whatever reason.

Links:

EPIC Submits Comments on FTC Facebook Privacy Settlement
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