The government is trying to spy on you and me, snooping our social media postings. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they will collect social media from all immigrants including permanent residents and even naturalized citizens like me.
Last time I checked, this is a free country where we have free speech protected and enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But we know Donald Trump does not believe in the principles of this country, so his goons are working overtime to undermine our freedoms.
The new rule was posted by the Federal Register last week. The surveillance includes “social media handles and aliases, associated identifiable information and search results,” according to The Hill.
DHS also issued a notice about monitoring and storing “public-source data (including information from social media) and will gather information from a host of sources, including commercial data providers and public sources such as social media, news media outlets, and the Internet,” according to the technology publication Wired.
The policy has no clear objectives, parameters or guidelines and is more an effort to cast a wide net against millions and millions of people.
Faiz Shakir, national political director of the American Civil Liberties Union, stated:
“This Privacy Act notice makes clear that the government intends to retain the social media information of people who have immigrated to this country, singling out a huge group of people to maintain files on what they say. This would undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the free speech that’s expressed every day on social media. This collect-it-all approach is ineffective to protect national security and is one more example of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.”
Analysts of digital rights also signal that the policy has no clear objectives, parameters or guidelines and is more an effort to cast a wide net against millions and millions of people.
These actions by the federal government should frighten not only immigrants, permanent residents and naturalized citizens but all people, since the vagueness of the encompassing directive gives a free pass to potentially infringe upon the rights bystanders too.
Regarding the chilling effect on free speech or self-censure, Adam Schwartz, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: “People may censor themselves because they’re worried about coming up for a status upgrade – from being a student visa to being a worker visa or from a work visa to a lawful permanent resident or an LPR to a naturalized citizen.”
Self-censoring may already happen… but not here.
One thing is sure: We will not be silenced. We will not be intimidated, and the resistance will be victorious.