Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 13, 2006

DailyKos flips out over “DHS” site visit

Filed under: DHS News — by Christian Beckner on April 13, 2006

The denizens of Dailykos.com had this diary at “most-recommended” status for much of the day:

Is DHS monitoring DailyKos?

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.

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3 Comments »

579

Comment by Tim-eh

April 13, 2006 @ 8:28 am

Most likely just a bored employee. Surfing around and came to the site.

581

Comment by DaveyM

April 13, 2006 @ 9:02 am

The Daily Kos reaction, I would bet, is the nifty little product of two deep tendencies: 1) The deepseated need of bloggers for attention (I mean no offense; I am a blogger myself); and 2) the deepseated suspicion by left-leaners of national security institutions. The result, unfortunately, is self-congratulatory paranoia.

583

Comment by Jeff Fisher

April 13, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

I would think that Comrade Kos would be happy; nevertheless this indicates an abnormal level of paranoia from this happy band of socialist. Without becoming attacking, the vast majority of employees at DHS subscribe to the ideal of government, or more importantly big government, are spillovers from other government agencies, college graduates, and union affiliated or at the very least sympathetic, ergo Democrats. So why is it surprising employees at DHS surf the Kos site? Well not so surprising if one is free of paranoia. Kos should be happy, think of the influence his blog has.

Kos, now its time to work on that pesky regulation DHS has prohibiting workers from engaging in pedophile activities while at work.

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