We live in an age in which technology is usually a decade ahead of the law. This means by the time that we realize that there is a problem; widespread victimization has occurred. The response to such victimization is to invent new laws. This offense then legislate approach, leaves the government always a step behind technology.
The problem with this offend and legislate model is that it comes from a utopian understanding of human nature and society. It assumes that we are entitled to a life without offense. This worldview implies that we can legislate and eliminate crime. But, this is neither possible and would be less than desirable.
Yet once again this understanding of the world is driving the Department of Homeland Security to monitor or screen social media more carefully.
The Washington Post reports
The Department of Homeland Security is expanding its social media presence in an effort to protect the country, reacting to growing concern about terrorists being radicalized online, Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday.
In his annual State of Homeland Security address, Johnson said that in response to a recent recommendation from a social media task force within DHS, he has “determined that we must expand the use of social media even further, consistent with law. “
Secretary Johnson is planning to punish those who have not offended for the possibility of offense. Those who we are going to be allow into the country will be monitored. DHS will screen their social media to ensure that they are not being radicalized.
In effect, the federal agency will be monitoring who these people are friends with, and to whom they talk. But how far will the DHS take such steps and what will they do with what they find?
How many times have you shared a meme that was edgy or threatening to the government or even to Muslims? Would you want Big Brother watching you to see what you think about certain things?
I for one do not. It seems that it would be another liberty Sacrificed on the altar of personal safety.