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April 09, 2018

Thompson: DHS Media Monitoring Proposal Deserves Strict Scrutiny

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on news reports that the Department of Homeland Security wants to set up a “Media Monitoring Service” to identify and track hundreds of thousands of reporters, news outlets, and social media accounts.

“Americans are right to question DHS’s proposal to monitor hundreds of thousands of reporters, news outlets, and social media accounts.  With an Administration continually at war with the media and a Department that lashes out at those that dare question it, what DHS is proposing deserves strict scrutiny and proper oversight.  We must take a strong stand against programs that may infringe on a free press and we should not tolerate the Department's rhetoric that maligns those who ask fair questions by calling them ‘tinfoil hat-wearing, black-helicopter conspiracy theorists.’  I will be inquiring with the Secretary to get answers on the proposed media and influencer monitoring program. In the meantime, I urge the Department to raise the bar with respect to how it communicates with the public, and refrain from name-calling those asking fair questions about how federal dollars will be spent.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978