The Department of Homeland Security Wants to Friend You?

Facebook and Twitter alerts are to replace the color-coded terror alerts. Friend DHS at your own risk.

First the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does away with color-coded terror alerts. Then Janet Napolitano tells Congress that the terror threat is at an all-time high. What’s going on?

In January 2009, when studying the color-coded terror alerts, a group of UCLA researchers found “the mentally ill, the disabled, African Americans, Latinos, Chinese Americans, Korean Americans and non-U.S. citizens were likelier to think the HSAS [Homeland Security Advisory System] alert level was higher than it was, and to worry more and change their behavior due to those fears.” The Obama administration — deciding that the “threat condition has economic, physical, and psychological effects on the nation” — set about to change the Bush administration’s pre-existing system. Come April, the color-coding terror alert system will cease to exist. In its place will be Facebook and Twitter.

Wait. Are you really being asked to friend DHS? The answer is yes.

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February 12th, 2011

Staff Reporter

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