Homeland Security to Monitor Twitter For Social Unrest

Posted: Nov 02, 2011 8:10 AM

Big Sis is watching what you Tweet in an effort to "combat" social unrest as the potential for riots in the United States has increased.

The wave of civil unrest that has swept the globe over the past year has prompted the Department of Homeland Security to step up its monitoring of Twitter and other social networks in a bid to pre-empt any sign of social dislocation within the United States.

“Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary Caryn Wagner said the use of such technology in uprisings that started in December in Tunisia shocked some officials into attention and prompted questions of whether the U.S. needs to do a better job of monitoring domestic social networking activity,” reports the Associated Press.

Wagner announced that the federal agency would implement new guidelines that would focus on “gleaning information from sites such as Twitter and Facebook for law enforcement purposes.”

Under the new framework, when the department receives information about a “potential threat,” it will then ask its contractors to look for relevant search references using “open source” information.

Note to this Administration: The way to squash social unrest isn't by monitoring social media sites, it's by having a successful, growing economy.