In a 12-page strategy from the White House seen by CNET, it promises to closely monitor the internet and social networking sites.
The federal government will start “helping communities to better understand and protect themselves against violent extremist propaganda, especially online.”
Most of the paper is focused on al Qaeda, which apparently is on the “brink of collapse”, but now it seems that the US has finally worked out that all the headjobs it allows to carry guns are more of a threat. There are domestic terrorists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semitic groups, religions nutcases, Apple fanboys and other groups that promote radicalisation around strange ideas.
However, there is still a Christian fundamentalist current in the US Senate which wants to use such technology to deal with Muslim radicals rather than focusing on others which might have links to the ever loving Bejesus.
They do not want the government to investigate those far right groups and gun carrying Christian militias that are waiting to fight the anti-Christ, and are quite happy to blow up welfare buildings while they wait.
One Republican, Michael McCaul, said it was important to investigate the radicalisation of Muslim youth in the United States which is a threat to Homeland Security.
He claimed that there are 36 Americans who have left the United States, mostly from Minnesota, to join forces in Somalia, to receive training under al-Shabaab, to receive training by Al Qaida and Anwar al-Awlaki. We are not sure why Minnesota is just a hotbed of terrorism – maybe looking at Facebook can tell us.
McCaul is certain that al-Awlaki is the “emerging threat”. He is radicalising Muslim youth over the internet “here in the United States,” McCaul claimed.
But not everyone in the US wants to purge the country of Muslims, nor wants to give Homeland Security too much power to monitor their Facebook accounts.
There is some fear that this White House announcement may signal that monitoring of social networks will broaden beyond the U.S. Department of Homeland Security already does. Already Homeland Security has said that its spooks were permitted to create accounts on social-networking sites.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation unearthed documents showing that DHS officials were sending “friend” requests to people applying for US citizenship.
The CIA uses hardware called Visible Technologies, which monitors millions of posts on social-networking websites. Tax collectors are using social notwork monitoring to get those who brag about not paying tax.
All up, things are starting to look like that revolution for Freedom appears to be going West.