Sunday, December 25, 2011

Privacy Group Sues DHS Over Social Media Monitoring Program

Fox News


A privacy advocacy group is suing the Department of Homeland Security for information about an emerging program designed to monitor social media activity.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, claiming the "legal authority for the DHS program remains unclear," went to federal court in Washington, D.C., this past week to try and compel the department to turn over documents on the initiative.

Though still in development, DHS is looking to establish a system for monitoring "forums, blogs, public websites and message boards." The idea is to gather and analyze publicly available information, and then use that information to help officials respond to disasters and other situations.

But the program has raised flags among privacy groups like EPIC, which this past April filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records -- a request the group's lawsuit claims DHS has not honored.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday expressed concern that information DHS gathers could be stored for up to five years and shared, noting that Internet users "routinely" post personal information in online communications and "have no reason to believe that the Department of Homeland Security is tracking their every post."...[Full Article]

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