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After FOIA, Homeland Security Releases Social Media Monitoring Guides

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the go-forth-and-get-yourself-on-a-list dept.

Privacy 21

v3rgEz (125380) writes "With a Freedom of Information Act request, MuckRock has received copies of two of the guides Homeland Security uses to monitor social media, one on standard procedures and a desktop binder for analysts.

Now asking for help to go through it: See something worth digging into? Say something, and share it with others so we know what to FOIA next."

cancel ×

21 comments

Most Transparent Ever (1)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 4 months ago | (#46539119)

See, they really are the most transparent administration every!

Re:Most Transparent Ever (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 4 months ago | (#46539447)

1. Carefully monitor citizens communications.
2. Send dissenters and anarchists to Room 101 for retraining.
3. ???
4. Profit

Re:Most Transparent Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46539795)

If you put it on the Internet expect someone to here it and record it..

Never say anything you don't want somebody else's lawyer holding up in court.

Good News... (2, Interesting)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#46539121)

...the document is borderline lame.

It takes 88 pages of government document to say what format to cut-and-paste news articles you captured while browsing websites and capturing TV with some media cards into emails.

There's some analysts, and they sit in a cube, and they watch MSNBC and surf HuffPo, and when there's an earthquake, they send an email using very specific fonts, or IM each other about it.

I've saved you 88 pages of reading.

You're welcome.

Re:Good News... (1)

Animats (122034) | about 4 months ago | (#46540225)

Right. After reading through all this, it's not clear why Homeland Security bothers. A customized news feed from Google would be about as useful and much cheaper.

These "media" guys apparently just send out little bulletins. There's no indication that they're tied into the operational side in any useful way. Homeland Security presumably has an operations center that handles active incidents. But the media guys don't seem to use any info from there, even a list of active incidents. If the operational center got a report of an explosion somewhere, one would expect that the "media" team would immediately get that info, then start looking for info about the incident appearing on social networks and tie that to the incident, both for immediate and later use.

Re:Good News... (1)

bentcd (690786) | about 4 months ago | (#46541587)

Right. After reading through all this, it's not clear why Homeland Security bothers. A customized news feed from Google would be about as useful and much cheaper.

Homeland Security isn't about doing things "cheap". In fact that would pretty much completely defeat the purpose.

The pork barrel used to be about building expensive green kit to kill the commies with, now it's about harassing citizens just enough so that they think you're protecting them from dangerous men with beards. There's lots of money in the pork barrel and the more expensively you can manage to do your job the more money will get poured into it.

Re:Good News... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 4 months ago | (#46564765)

There's nothing expensive described in this process other than perhaps the labor. The workstations are older run-of-the-mill Dell machines using off-the-shelf TV capture cards for grabbing news tidbits.

The government may be full of pork, but there's no obvious waste described in the document.

It's just an overly long policy document.

Fucking idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46539181)

muckrock must be a fucking idiot if it can't scour 146 pages by itself.

Re:Fucking idiot (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 4 months ago | (#46541399)

As I use NoScript, I couldn't help but find the amount of trackers on their site rather shocking: GAnalytics, Scorecard, Facebook, Newrelic AND Topsy, for good measure. It seems they are interpreting "freedom of information" rather liberally and include the freedom to fork their visitor's information over to PR/marketing droids wholesale.

It seems to me they are more likely an asset to DHS and their feeble social media monitoring scheme than they damage it by telling us about it.

should be OK with most social media users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46539391)

Social media is all about volunteering your data, connections, friends lists, etc for data-mining. Even without the NSA in the picture, that's what happens.

If you go from being harvested by N entities, to N+1, then N/(N+1) approaches unity for large values of N. What difference does one more make? Once it's harvested, it will be passed on, and you can't control which companies pass which info to who.

News flash: if you do X, X will happen. In this case, X = volunteer your data for harvesting.

Now, maybe it's a little different being the gov and all, who has guns etc etc, but giving it up for commercial use pretty much also implies also giving it up for gov use.

Re:should be OK with most social media users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46539443)

"if you do volunteer your data for harvesting, volunteer your data for harvesting will happen"

Much as you may be in the right, and you are, I think you need to work on your grammar a bit.

Re:should be OK with most social media users (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46541135)

Fuck off.

Social media is only used by idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46539425)

Idiots come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors.

If you know someone who uses social media, and you use social media,
you know at least two idiots, and one of them is you.

There's a parrallel world of laws (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 months ago | (#46539769)

There's the laws on the book, that we can all read, then there's these:
guide lines, procedure manuals, legal memos, training documents, handbooks, etc etc etc.

The average person only has access to half of the actual legal documents that effect them every day.
The noxiousness of the NSA's spying is compounded by secret courts and secret interpretations.

Re:There's a parallel world of laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46540709)

The average person only has access to half of the actual legal documents that affect them every day.

FTFY [dailywritingtips.com]

Re:There's a parallel world of laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46541209)

Fuck off asshole

Re:There's a parallel world of laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46541431)

From your very own link:

Affect ... A verb meaning “to produce an effect, to influence”: “I knew that my opinion would affect her choice, so I deliberately withheld it.”
Effect ... A verb meaning “to accomplish”: “His newfound sense of responsibility effected a positive change in her attitude toward him.”

The legal documents in use by government agents have an effect, or influence, on us and on our actions and decisions (that's the point of their existing in the first place, after all). The documents are not feeling a sense of accomplishment.

GP got it right, and you're a failure. Doubly so, because of your trying to propagate your own mistakes using information that should have had you reconsider. /pendantrysquared

secret courts and secret interpretations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46540727)

I agree. But there is nothing secret about their "interpretations",

The NSA and the like, pretty much do the same thing, lawyers, judges, prosecutors, do. Find was to re-word the language, in order to get away with their own naive "interpretations" on either well written laws, or terribly written laws.

The secret courts I believe are pretty much Federal Courts and it seems they have power over the Supreme Courts, according to how one chooses to interpret the Constitution the Federal Courts/Laws are illegal and should be eliminated, . I doubt it will stop the Washingtons defunct politicians from allowing these agencies absolute power.

Cyber Mouth Breathers (1)

d'baba (1134261) | about 4 months ago | (#46540055)

They keep their Daily Watch Log in a Google spreadsheet. Exportable to Excel, of course.

Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46540657)

some things exist just to justify their existence.

Here's their spam filter (1)

Sean (422) | about 4 months ago | (#46547847)

Note - Analysts are to refrain from generating IOI reports that:
1) Include any form of unauthorized PII
2) Include public reaction to DHS programs, policies and procedures unless they are operationally relevant (e.g., long wait times at TSA checkpoints)
3) Focus on individuals' First Amendment-protected activities unless they are operationally relevant (e.g., protest shuts down I-95 - in which case the report should focus on impact to operations and not the subject of the protest)
4) Overview proposed legislation or legal challenges on enacted legislation
5) Have an obvious political bias or agenda
6) Are predictive or futuristic

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