Last week Mark Hosenball did an article over at Rueters.com about DHS “operating a ‘Social Networking/Media Capability’”. It seems that he had discovered a Privacy Compliance Review document on the DHS sight describing the fact that DHS was ‘monitoring’ a large number of blogs and social networking sites. A number of activist sites have picked up the story and are chastising DHS for the invasion of their privacy and Cyptome.org has provided a copy of the January 2011 version of that document on their web site.
Sorry folks, this is old news. I blogged about this back in the summer of 2010 when an alert reader notified me that I was on the list of sites monitored by DHS. I wasn’t upset about it then, I am not upset about it now. In fact, I am flattered and pleased. Readers of this blog know that I have been trying to influence DHS policy on a number of matters and I can’t do that if they don’t pay attention to what I write.
The whole point of blogging and tweeting is to share information. Placing these ramblings on the internet is done with malice aforethought. I intend for people, as many as possible, to read and think about my thoughts, opinions and insights. I want to have people read, assimilate, think about and respond to my musings; every political writer (and make no bones about it, this is at heart a political blog) does.
Does it bother me that DHS has monitored my postings about how they are doing or not doing their jobs? Of course not; I want them to. Maybe they will make some minor (or better yet major) changes in their processes and procedures based upon my ideas. Great, I will have helped to make them a better agency.
How can I be concerned about privacy issues with the information posted in this blog? I have deliberately set this up as an open communications device, broadcasting to the world. There is no requirement to sign-up to receive approval to read this stuff. I want everyone with anything to do with chemical and cybersecurity to read this blog. If my ego weren’t so big that I thought my ideas could improve the world I wouldn’t be spending the countless hours that I do on this blog.
I have one last thing to say about privacy and the internet; there is no privacy on the internet. If you post anything on the internet anyone will be able to see it. If you don’t know that in your soul, if you don’t realize all of the potential implications of that, if you don’t accept that, please, just blow up your computer to save yourself the ultimate embarrassment. It will come back to bite you in the most uncomfortable way possible.
Grow up people. This is not Orwell’s 1984 this is Social Media 2012. Even DHS gets that.