You don’t want to get members of Congress angry. You know what happens when they get angry: they write letters. The feverishly scribbling hands of Reps. Patrick Meehan (R – Penn.) and Jackie Speier (D – Calif.) were busy dashing off note to Homeland Security about more stringent monitoring of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Meehan chairs the the House Homeland Security counter-terrorism sub-committee, and Speier is the ranking Democrat. In an interview with Reuters, Meehan said:
If terrorists are operating in Pakistan or communicating through social media sites like Facebook, we need to remain vigilant. Yet there are important civil liberties questions involving U.S. government monitoring of social media and Americans’ Internet traffic. We are seeking answers on the Department’s guidelines and procedures to ensure Americans’ civil liberties are safeguarded.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a report earlier this week with a long list of sites it has will monitor with “situational awareness.” The list is pretty comprehensive, covering everything from Twitter and ABC News to WikiLeaks and MySpace.