The denizens of Dailykos.com had this diary at “most-recommended” status for much of the day:
The author of the diary writes:
Normally, I would figure that a government agency tasked to protect our homeland from foreign threats and terrorist activity would not be bothered to monitor the on-line political ramblings of a gaggle of pseudo-anonymous lefty bloggers.
I guess I was wrong…
And he posts a link to a Sitemeter hit from the “Department of Homeland Security,” leading him to speculate:
So, it would seem that this is one of two things: someone at the DHS is a reader of Daily Kos and a friendly Democrat, or DHS is watching us.
I’ll let you decide.
I’d wager good money that this site hit was almost certainly an employee’s nonofficial midday websurfing, unrelated to any official DHS activities But the posting attracted a fair dose of paranoiac attention, and 500+ comments today. Over 80% of respondents in an attached poll suggested that this an example of DHS “monitoring” the site.
As someone who watches DHS closely, I find the fact that people would get worked up about this astounding. Of course people from all parts of the government visit blogs when they’re at work. That has nothing to do with anything conspiratorial, but rather a recognition that blogs play an increasingly important role in the dissemination of critical information and the broader political debate.
It does reflect a general paranoia about DHS that exists in certain political quarters (on both the right and left), which is something that the Department is going to have to get better at addressing over the next few years…not only through PR and media activities, but primarily through community outreach efforts in cities and towns across the country.