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Pentagon Hires Private Firm to Keep Tabs on Service Members’ Social Media Posts

Concerns about the consolidation of such information abound.

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What was once a world full of whimsical and fantastical possibility has quickly devolved into a tool for control and surveillance, and there may be no turning back.

Social media could very well have been the invention of the millennium, allowing people of different cultures to communicate instantaneously throughout the known universe.  This is the information revolution, and like the industrial revolution before it, has changed the human race forever.

But the consolidation of power within this media sphere has become worrisome, and the societal pressure to use social media in a neutered, muted sort of way has taken a great deal of the potential out of the medium.  This is especially true for folks who have wonderful, but perhaps unbridled ideas, who are now concerned that their online posts could be taken out of context or used against them.

There are also concerns about the privacy of such posts, and whether or not shielding your online persona from a potential employer reads as a “problem”, or as a judiciously pragmatic decision.

For military members, these sorts of queries are now coming to a head.

An extremism steering committee led by Bishop Garrison, a senior adviser to the secretary of defense, is currently designing the social media screening pilot program, which will “continuously” monitor military personnel for “concerning behaviors,” according to a Pentagon briefing in late March. Although in the past the military has balked at surveilling service members for extremist political views due to First Amendment protections, the pilot program will rely on a private surveillance firm in order to circumvent First Amendment restrictions on government monitoring, according to a senior Pentagon official. Though the firm has not yet been selected, the current front runner is Babel Street, a company that sells powerful surveillance tools including social media monitoring software.

There are some serious, albeit obvious, concerns.

Babel Street has drawn criticism for its practice of buying bulk cellular location data and selling it to federal national security agencies like the Secret Service, who rely on the private company to bypass warrant requirements normally imposed on government bodies seeking to collect data. In November, Vice reported that the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command used one of Babel Street’s products, Locate X, to track the location of individuals for special forces operations. One method Babel controversially used was to purchase location data associated with the users of a popular Muslim prayer app.

Garrison and Babel Street did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

It is unclear to what extent Congress is aware of the program, if it all. When asked about the program, a spokesperson for Rep. Don Bacon, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said they were not aware of it.

Of course, the idea that any private entity would be in possession of a consolidated list of military members is also concerning, as this sort of information could be used to target our service members either for retribution or radicalization, which wholly defeats the purpose of the program in the first place.

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VIDEO: Police Inaction During Uvalde Shooting has Residents Furious

Authorities have suggested that they are investigating the inaction of some officers during the shooting, but haven’t elaborated further. 

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As the chaos played out in Uvalde, Texas this week, several local Uvalde residents, (some of them parents of children currently inside the scene of an active shooter situation), were on the street pleading with police to enter the school.

These officers did not enter the school, however, until backup of some sort arrived, and their inaction has many in the community absolutely furious.

Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team.

“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.

And, what’s more…

Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building.

Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders.

“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.”

“They were unprepared,” he added.

The harrowing scene was shared on social media, but we must warn you that the video below is not for the faint of heart.

Authorities have suggested that they are investigating the inaction of some officers during the shooting, but haven’t elaborated further.

As the chaos played out in Uvalde, Texas this week, several local Uvalde residents, (some of them parents of children currently inside the scene of an active shooter situation), were on the street pleading with police to enter the school. These officers did not enter the school, however, until backup of some sort arrived, and their inaction has many in the community absolutely furious. Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team. “Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in. And, what’s more… Javier Cazares, whose fourth grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack, said he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still gathered outside the building. Upset that police were not moving in, he raised the idea of charging into the school with several other bystanders. “Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” he said. “More could have been done.” “They were unprepared,” he added. The harrowing scene was shared on social media, but we must warn you that the video below is not for the faint of heart. https://twitter.com/paleofuture/status/1529652093354536961?s=20&t=Jk4GLbKr7GexHrbyxJEtEA Authorities have suggested that they are investigating the inaction of some officers during the shooting, but haven’t elaborated further.

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Secret Service Shamed After Drunk Agents Assault Cab Driver in South Korea

There is a history of poor behavior from the Secret Service during Democratic administrations.

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You can tell a lot about a White House by the extracurricular nonsense that hits the press surrounding it.

For instance, after one of President Joe Biden’s dogs began biting random people on the grounds, we started hearing murmurs of just how terse and stressful the place had become, with dog behavior experts suggesting that the mood at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might have a lot to do with the aggression.

This week, the Biden administration beget more bad behavior, but this time it wasn’t from one of the First Pets.

Two U.S. Secret Service agents in South Korea were sent stateside ahead of President Biden’s arrival following their involvement in an off-duty alcohol-related incident.

The two agents, whose identities have not been made public, are on their way back to Washington, D.C. where they will face disciplinary action, a source familiar with the matter told Fox News.

Both agents apparently became intoxicated while not on duty. One of the agents then got into an altercation with a cab driver.

There could be more trouble coming, as well.

In South Korea, officials send mediators to the scene of low-level disputes and then determine if criminal charges would be filed.

One of the agents was interviewed by authorities and no charges have been filed.

The government released one of its usual, dry, boilerplate-esque missives.

“The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations,” USSS chief spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told Fox News. “We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards.”

There is a history of poor behavior from the Secret Service during Democratic administrations, with a notable incident having occurred in 2012, involving Barack Obama’s agents and a Colombian prostitute.

You can tell a lot about a White House by the extracurricular nonsense that hits the press surrounding it. For instance, after one of President Joe Biden’s dogs began biting random people on the grounds, we started hearing murmurs of just how terse and stressful the place had become, with dog behavior experts suggesting that the mood at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might have a lot to do with the aggression. This week, the Biden administration beget more bad behavior, but this time it wasn’t from one of the First Pets. Two U.S. Secret Service agents in South Korea were sent stateside ahead of President Biden’s arrival following their involvement in an off-duty alcohol-related incident. The two agents, whose identities have not been made public, are on their way back to Washington, D.C. where they will face disciplinary action, a source familiar with the matter told Fox News. Both agents apparently became intoxicated while not on duty. One of the agents then got into an altercation with a cab driver. There could be more trouble coming, as well. In South Korea, officials send mediators to the scene of low-level disputes and then determine if criminal charges would be filed. One of the agents was interviewed by authorities and no charges have been filed. The government released one of its usual, dry, boilerplate-esque missives. “The Secret Service is aware of an off-duty incident involving two employees which may constitute potential policy violations,” USSS chief spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told Fox News. “We have very strict protocols and policies for all employees and we hold ourselves to the highest professional standards.” There is a history of poor behavior from the Secret Service during Democratic administrations, with a notable incident having occurred in 2012, involving Barack Obama’s agents and a Colombian prostitute.

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