Bloggers Beware

C9B1855C-EF72-4340-85EE-C26E6D577C3DI just read a scary an article in Forbes about how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is going to be starting a program to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers. The program has the relatively benign-sounding name, “Media Monitoring Services.”

The U.S. government is preparing to compile a list of professional journalists and “top media influencers,” which would seem to include bloggers and podcasters, and monitor what they’re putting out to the public.

Yes, the article specifically mentioned bloggers!

And so it begins, folks. This inchoate endeavor sounds to me as if this is the beginning of the end of freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the United States.

The successful contracting company, according to the Forbes article, will have “24/7 access to a password protected, media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers, etc.” The program is intended to “identify any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event.”

But what, exactly, does the government plan to do with the information it compiles? Are those of us bloggers who mention the DHS in our posts or who express anger, frustration, or antipathy toward the Trump administration, going to find ourselves the subjects of this monitoring? Will our ability to freely express our opinions and perspectives be impinged?Will our travel either within or outside of the United States be affected by what we’ve published in our blog posts?

Although I don’t think of myself as a major influencer, I see this DHS initiative as seriously frightening. I’m alarmed and you should be, too. It seems to me that we are getting closer and closer to the dystopian world George Orwell wrote about in his book, 1984.

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “inchoate.”

25 thoughts on “Bloggers Beware

  1. baddadcartoons101 April 7, 2018 / 9:59 am

    I would comment on your post but I don’t want to leave the impression that I associate with diversive and dangerous bloggers, somebody could be watching me!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sue Vincent April 7, 2018 / 10:02 am

    ‘Like’ seems the wrong thing to do, somehow. But to hell with them… they can already read what we are putting out without a multi-million database.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sight11 April 7, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Well it can’t be helped. One has to voice their frustration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Karyn April 7, 2018 / 12:49 pm

    The Handwriting was on the Wall during the campaign. This is not surprising.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Suzanne April 7, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    They’ll be busy with all this reading of blogs and checking of other social media sites. Maybe we could use our blog to seed radical ideas – you never know where a seed will take root.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Suze April 7, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    I say once we ascertain that DHS is indeed following bloggers, we all create a second and third blog, link to each other and all secondary and tertiary blogs then start typing! We’ll crash their computers so fast is isn’t funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Michael April 7, 2018 / 3:47 pm

    I guess I’m never going to get into America if they read anything that I’ve ever written

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango April 7, 2018 / 4:40 pm

      They’d surely arrest you at the border.


  8. Walk the Goats ~ Cindy April 22, 2018 / 5:16 pm

    Unsettling plan. Along with other unsettling things, like the introduction of devices into our homes like the Echo that listen to the words around it..and save them? Report them?

    So much technology is presented as a way to simplify our lives. We then embrace it (Facebook anyone? WordPress blogs?) to such a degree, it’s hard to imagine living without it. But it seems way too easy to have apparently benign technologies very quickly turned into dark arts for nefarious purposes.

    Liked by 1 person

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