Speier is coming out swinging both fists at the Department of Homeland Security.
Much like the Federal Reserve’s social media listening program the flunkies and goons over at the DHS decided that it was a good use of tax payer money to spy on journalists, bloggers, and ordinary citizens who criticize them.
Without getting too technical this is obviously a waste of money. Adding insult to injury it is also illegal. Our government does not have the right to spy on citizens without probable cause or reasonable suspicion via the strictures of the 4th amendment which states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The DHS and the Federal Reserve are in clear violation of federal law and should face criminal liability.
Speier and myself are in agreement. The representative had this to say regarding the DHS’s social media listening program “I find that outrageous.”
Speier and myself aren’t the only ones who are “outraged” by this illegal spying program. The Electronic Privacy Information Center released a report on the DHS’s listening program which states that the DHS is listening to and spying on “anchors, newscasters or on-scene reporters who … use traditional and/or social media. This would allow the agency to build files on bloggers and Internet activists.”
DHS chief privacy officer, Mary Ellen Callahan defends this practice saying “We are just focusing on the event, the situation that is going on, and not worrying about the individual. We don’t collect information on individuals. We don’t monitor them in regards to First Amendment activity.” Representative Speier responded to this stating “What I’m suggesting to you is that [reporter data] is irrelevant and you don’t need it.”