DHS Will Start Monitoring American Journalists

Why does the Department of Homeland Security need to keep extensive tabs on the journalists? The very nature of a government-maintained database of journalists seems to fly in the face of a free press, nevertheless DHS is pressing forward with a project called “Media Monitoring Services.”

Tell the DHS to abandon this journalist database project before it is implemented by signing this petition.

The press learned of this alarming project when DHS announced it was seeking contract bids from firms to create and update this journalist database. Reporters whose work appears on television, newspapers, magazines, the radio, blogs and other general “media influencers” would all be included so that government officials could look up their contact information and professional history.

Tyler Q. Houlton, a spokesperson for the DHS, called the database “standard practice,” insisting that, “Any suggestion otherwise is fit for tinfoil hat-wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists.”

That’s a pretty wild defense/accusation from an administration led by a man who regularly peddles conspiracy theories. Besides, if it were really that “standard,” why doesn’t it exist already?

Ignore the DHS’s spin—reporters and Americans in general have every reason to panic at this development. One of President Donald Trump’s most consistent attributes is his open criticism of a free press. Given Trump’s personal vendettas against journalists who expose the inner-workings of his White House, allowing him to access personal details about these professionals who are simply trying to keep the nation informed could have major consequences.

As BoingBoing points out, the DHS would like the database to be searchable by journalist “sentiment.” That sure seems like a recipe for White House officials to be able to identify and divide reporters based on who covers the president favorably and who doesn’t.

Ostensibly, DHS is looking to tackle a problem of “fake news” coming from foreign parties in an attempt to influence United States politics. That doesn’t explain why the database would include American reporters as well, however.

In conducting surveillance on media influencers, the government will become the biggest media influencer of all—inevitably intimidating some journalists from reporting negative information about the political leaders with access to this database.

Take Action

We’re entering dangerous territory by allowing the government to monitor national journalists. The free press serves a critical and independent role in democracy. It exists to keep the government accountable and not vice-versa.

That’s why we need urge DHS to abandon the database contract altogether. By adding your name to this Care2 petition,  you join others in asking that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to scrap plans for this project before it opens a can of worms that cannot be undone.

 

38 comments

Marie W
Marie W7 months ago

Thank you

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Winn A
Winn Aabout a year ago

Petition Signed

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Angela G
Angela Gabout a year ago

omg

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Danuta Watola
Danuta Wabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing

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John W
John Wabout a year ago

Not signed. More Cultural Marxist lies.

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Debbi W
Debbi Wabout a year ago

Why??? Because Trump is paranoid and scared s**tless because he doesn't want his secrets exposed, plus he fear real news. The fake news keeps him happy, but the real news doesn't cater to his whims. That is why he want to spy in legitimate reporters.

WE need to vote out all of these congressmen/women and senators who are now millionaires because they take huge bribe/donations and vote to keep their donors happy, NOT US. They need to go this November.

Alea C is right. The republicans are a history of wanting to remove anything that protect most of the people, unless it would effect them.

Petition signed.

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Janis K
Janis Kabout a year ago

Vote the GOP out in Nov.

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Muff-Anne Y
Muff-Anne York-Haleyabout a year ago

So wrong.

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Alea C
Alea Cabout a year ago

Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine which is why the press can now be as biased as it wants. Another reason not to vote republican, as if anyone needed one.

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Anne M
Anne Moranabout a year ago

Petition signed; DHS/Big Brother just loves to spy on people, no matter what their job is... - Should rather be looking at their own personnel/skeletons-in-the-closet...

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