As the winter Olympics begin, the Department of Homeland Security has disclosed that it will be monitoring the comments and posts on websites and social media like Twitter for information on possible terror threats. Among the sites listed in a privacy impact statement filed [February 12] by DHS are the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post, Twitter, Google and this web site, the Blotter.
The National Operations Center of DHS will watch the web for information, according to the statement, to "provide situational awareness" in the event of natural disaster, an "act of terrorism, or other manmade disaster."
"The Olympics are a potential target for such events," said the statement. The statement did not list all web sites and social media that the NOC will monitor, but provided 31 examples, many of them, like the Blotter, sites that cover breaking news, security, or terror.
DHS officials say they will not be monitoring the web sites extensively, but would use the sites as a reference and open source tool in the event of an incident or emergency. DHS officials also used the monitoring of social media sites in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake to aid rescue efforts.