DHS, Social Networks and Emergency Awareness

January 2012: (Hat tip to PolicyMic. A recent report out from Reuters outlined the current ongoing program at the Department of Homeland Security to monitor social networks with the intention of collecting "information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture". The networks include Twitter, Facebook, Hulu, Wikileaks as well as sites like Drudge Report, Huffington Post and others. According to the New York Times, as far back as 2009, the federal government was using contractors to monitor sites. DHS, the Times wrote, "monitors the Internet for information about emerging threats to public safety like a natural disaster or a terrorist attack."

Reuters added "such monitoring is designed to help DHS and its numerous agencies, which include the U.S. Secret Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency, to manage government responses to such events as the 2010 earthquake and aftermath in Haiti and security and border control related to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia."

At heart is the Publically Available Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness (Initiative) which is under the direction of the Offices of Operations Coordination and Planning, and the National Operations Center both under the aegis of DHS.

DHS does not keep permanent records of the traffic it monitors and through documents reported by Reuters, the agency's goal is to provide "more accurate situational awareness, a more complete common operating pictures (sic), and more timely information for decision makers."

Citizen Corps

DHS Citizen Corps and ReadyCommunity Partnership representatives are discussing areas of possible collaboration, particularly appropriate methods for facilitating private sector interests in providing resources to government at all levels to support community preparedness and Citizen Corps.

Citizen Corps is the key in bridging the gap between the local public and private sector preparedness and response assets and capabilities.  Click Here to learn more about Citizen Corps.

Gilmore Commission: 5 Reports

The Gilmore Commission issued five reports, with the 5th report containing the  summary report on the comprehensive works on the role and consequence of terror on America's policies and economy both at home and abroad. Written before 9/11 but updated and finished afterwards, it is a chilling and realistic view of the terrorist threat to America, the consequences of the Middle East tensions and Iraq war, and assesses the threat to the United States and what it means to the sovreignty and stability of Western economic and political aliances. Click here to visit the Rand site to download one or all five reports.



9/11 Report

This is the official report of the 9/11 Commission, established to study and report on the September terrorist attack. Exhaustive in its references and concise in its findings, the report lays out in clear detail the circumstances leading up to, during and following that fateful day. Click here to visit the official site to download a copy of the report.