When I was at High Times magazine I fully expected the government to have a file on me and my coworkers. I was in my twenties then, and I just didn't care that the file existed. Over the years since then I've thought to use the freedom of information act to obtain that file but never got around to making the request. It still might be an interesting read.
Now much later in my career when I have nothing to hide, I am extremely concerned that our Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has come up with a plan called "Media Monitoring Services."
The details of the Statement of Work outline a plan to gather and monitor the public activities of media professionals and influencers at a time when the freedom of the press is under attack worldwide, and our own leader has called the press "the enemy of the people."
As part of its "media monitoring" the DHS intends to watch "any and all media coverage," which includes "online, print, broadcast, cable, radio, trade and industry publications, local sources, national/international outlets, traditional news sources, and social media." That means that each and every one of you will be on the governmental media watch list. How does that make you feel?
To my associates in media, obvious enemies of the people, I am concerned and - what else to call it? - outraged. How has it come to this? These are not the normal actions of a functioning democracy. Am I needlessly sounding an alarm? Am I being overly sensitive to "media monitoring"? I don't think so. Do you?