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DHS now monitors social media posts, taking a play from the Post Office

The department will be looking for potential terrorist threats.

social media being looked at by ftc
Image: Unsplash

Taking a play out of the USPS playbook, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun monitoring public social media posts. Officials say that this is in an effort to gain information about potential security threats that may come from public posts.

We recently reported that the United States Postal Service was utilizing its security division to monitor social media, but it does seem like this a task more fitting for DHS. The Post Office’s focus was uncovering potential protests that could turn sour, and DHS seems to be looking for the same kinds of things.

The aim of DHS is not to look for specific individuals. Instead, the department is looking for more general topics that may be being discussed across social media platforms, much like the attack on the US Capitol perpetuated by Donald Trump supporters earlier this year.

Officials for DHS told NBC News this:

“We’re not looking at who are the individual posters. We are looking at what narratives are resonating and spreading across platforms. From there you may be able to determine what are the potential targets you need to protect.”

Though there are many who oppose the idea of government agencies monitoring social media posts, DHS is confident that it will be beneficial as a counterterrorism effort. While DHS does not seem to be looking for specific individuals, the department is more likely monitoring trends of posts that could point to something bigger.

While it doesn’t necessarily feel great that the government agencies like DHS have the green light to monitor our social media posts, the premise behind it makes sense. And it definitely seems like a better fit to have the DHS on the job, instead of USPS. It seems to me that they need to focus more on delivering my mail on time.

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