Wall Street Journal Reporter Jennifer Valentino tweeted:
Former DHS Privacy Officer Mary Ellen Callahan: DHS Privacy Office was accused monthly of being “terrorists” by DHS, IC
In fact, the DHS seems to believe all Americans are potential terrorists, according to it’s bizarre interpretations, but DHS’s own privacy officials were the focus of special disdain by the agency.
If you’ve ever cared about privacy while using the Internet in public, you might be a terrorist. At least that’s the message from the FBI and Justice Department’s Communities Against Terrorism initiative. The project created flyers to help employees at several types of businesses—including military surplus stores, financial institutions, and even tattoo shops—recognize “warning signs” of terrorism or extremism. An admirable goal, perhaps, but the execution is flawed—particularly for the flyers intended to help suss out terrorists using Internet cafes.
The flyers haven’t been publicly available online, but Public Intelligence, a project promoting the right to access information, collected 25 documents that it found elsewhere on the Web. As Public Intelligence puts it, “Do you like online privacy? You may be a terrorist.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shows on their website that they have a Chief Privacy Officer, Mary Ellen Callahan. According to the site, Callahan and her office are responsible for:
evaluating department-wide programs, systems, and technologies and rule-makings for potential privacy impacts, and for providing mitigation strategies to reduce any privacy impact
Unfortunately, Callahan left the position in 2012 and has apparently not been replaced, bringing the number of privacy officers at the DHS to zero.
In other words, the DHS considers government privacy officers to be terrorists, doesn’t have any … and yet – in blatant propaganda – pretends it does.
Photo: Ray Young on Flickr