The U.S. Border Patrol (CBP) and the TSA claim they need to secretly spy on everyone’s social media accounts so they can understand a person’s relationship with their friends, family and the government.
According to a DHS report published last month, nothing can stop the Border Patrol or the TSA from secretly spying on everyone’s social media accounts.
In order to conduct a complete investigation, it is necessary for DHS/CBP to collect and review large amounts of data in order to identify and understand relationships between individuals, entities, threats and events, and to monitor patterns of activity over extended periods of time that may be indicative of criminal, terrorist, or other threat.
Understanding a person’s relationship with “entities” is just a euphemism for the government. The Feds want to know if you are anti-government, an activist, or a protester.
To recap: DHS claims they need to spy on everyone’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Qzone, Weibo, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Ask.Fm, Tumblr, Flickr, Google+, LinkedIn, VK, Odonklassniki and Meetup accounts to find out about their political views and much more. (For a complete list of the sixty-plus social media accounts DHS spies on click here.)
DHS claims the National Security Act gives them the power to ignore the Constitution and spy on everyone without probable cause.
The Secretary of Homeland Security, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), has exempted this system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4); (d); (e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(3), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I); (e)(5), and (e)(8); (f); and (g). Additionally, the Secretary of Homeland Security, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1) and (k)(2), has exempted this system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f). When this system receives a record from another system exempted in that source system under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (k)(2), or (j)(2), DHS will claim the same exemptions for those records that are claimed for the original primary systems of records from which they originated and claims any additional exemptions set forth here.
The extent to which DHS will go to justify secretly spy on Americans is appalling. I encourage everyone to read the “DHS Systems of Records Exempt From the Privacy Act” and tell your family and friends about it.
DHS does not need probable cause to spy on everyone!
The accuracy of information obtained or introduced occasionally may be unclear, or the information may not be strictly relevant or necessary to a specific investigation. For the reasons noted above, DHS is not required to establish requirements, rules, or procedures with respect to such access.
The Border Patrol’s power extends far beyond borders and airports.
A recent article in The Intercept warns that the Border Patrol has almost unlimited authority to stop and detain motorists across the country.
When a Border Patrol agent is contemplating pulling someone over, they have a checklist of possible behaviors to look out for. They can determine “whether the vehicle or its load looks unusual in some way,” or “whether the passengers appeared dirty.” If those descriptions don’t apply, they can assess “whether the persons inside the vehicle avoid looking at the agent,” or conversely, “whether the persons inside the vehicle are paying undue attention to the agent’s presence.” And if those don’t apply, they can simply determine that the car is in an area nearby the border and pull it over on that basis alone.”
Which is exactly what I predicted would happen last year.
Imagine driving down the road and being stopped by a Border Patrol agent for speeding. Imagine Border Patrol agents responding to domestic abuse calls at people’s homes. Imagine the Border Patrol responding to trespassing calls and detaining motorists with K-9s.
To say that this puts the Department of Douchebaggery (DHS) on par with China really does not do it justice. Government surveillance is getting worse before our very eyes.