DOD Counter Extremism Group Designing Program to Surveil Military

The Biden Pentagon’s new Counter Extremism Working Group (CEWG) is planning to surveil members of the armed force’s social networks accounts for “extremism” utilizing a personal security firm in order to circumvent First Modification constraints on federal government monitoring, according to a current report.

Babel Street is presently the frontrunner for private monitoring firms the Pentagon is thinking about, the Intercept reported Tuesday.

The company buys bulk cellular place information and sells it to federal government agencies, consisting of the Trick Service, to bypass security warrant requirements, according to the report.

The Pentagon announced in April it would check out screening service members and recruits’ social media accounts, as Breitbart News has reported.

The Pentagon’s memo said one of the CEWG’s 4 lines of effort (LOE) includes pursuing better screening of soldiers’ and recruits’ social networks. It stated:

This LOE will examine the Department’s pursuit of scalable and cost effective capabilities to evaluate publically [sic] available details in accessions and constant vetting for nationwide security positions. The LOE will make recommendations on additional development of such abilities and including algorithms and additional processing into social media screening platforms. This LOE will likewise venture to establish policy to expand user activity monitoring of both categorized and unclassified systems.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon had not recognized what firms it would count on to carry out the tracking. The CEWG is being led by Bishop Fort, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s senior adviser on diversity and addition efforts.

A representative for your house Armed Providers Committee supplied the Intercept with a statement:

The Committee understands that the Department of Defense is exploring a means of carrying out social networks screening in conjunction with background investigations. We prepare for that any social media screening would be planned just as an additional ways of vetting cleared people or those looking for to acquire a security clearance, not as a tool for continuous surveillance of all males and females in uniform. That said, Secretary Austin has actually been clear about his objectives to understand to what degree extremism exists in the force and its impact on great order and discipline. We anticipate hearing the outcomes of the stand down and the Department’s strategy to move forward.

The pilot program will use keywords to determine possible extremists, a senior Pentagon main informed the outlet.

Civil rights specialists revealed alarm.

“Utilizing key words to keep track of social media isn’t just an unneeded personal privacy invasion, it is a problematic method that will guarantee it is brief,” Mike German, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, told the Intercept. “It will undoubtedly produce a flood of incorrect positives that will lose security resources and undermine morale, without recognizing the real problem, which is the tolerance for those that openly take part in racist behavior and discrimination.”

Harsha Panduranga, counsel for the Brennan Center’s Liberty & National Security Program, added, “There is little proof that social networks screening is an efficient screening tool … However we do understand that assisting in dragnet monitoring of the modern-day public square damages totally free speech and personal privacy, enforcing a disparate impact on individuals who have actually generally borne the force of government profiling in the name of nationwide security.”

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