House members ask Homeland Security to monitor social networking sites for terrorist threats

Two members of the U.S. Congress believe that the Dept. of Homeland Security's best sources to weed out "current or emerging threats" are social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In December, Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who are top members of the House counter-terrorism subcommittee, outlined their idea in a letter to Caryn Wagner, Undersecretary of Homeland Security for intelligence and analysis.

The two representatives said in their joint letter that they "believe it would be advantageous for DHS and the broader Intelligence Community to carefully parse the massive streams of data from various social media outlets to identify current or emerging threats to our homeland security."

Meehan currently serves as the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee's counter-terrorism and intelligence subcommittee, while Speier is the panel's ranking Democrat.

In a hearing that he convened in December, Meehan told Reuters that his group had "examined the evolving terrorist use of social media and effective intelligence and law enforcement responses."

For more:
- Reuters has this article

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