Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pentagon's Monitoring Students' Email

Here is a chilling report that involves (a) more domestic spying, (b) done by the military (Department of Defense) rather than the FBI or NSA, (c) on students, (d) in many intances related to their legitimate free speech (however much DOD would find it more convenient to silence them). [For Sean Blanda's July 9 link to this item and comments see CollegeV2.]

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:

Pentagon Surveillance of Student Groups as Security Threats Extended to Monitoring E-Mail, Reports Show

By SAMANTHA HENIG

The Department of Defense monitored e-mail messages from college students who were planning protests against the war in Iraq and against the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy against gay and lesbian members of the armed forces, according to surveillance reports released last month. While the department had previously acknowledged monitoring protests on campuses as national-security threats, it was not until recently that evidence surfaced showing that the department was also monitoring e-mail communications that were submitted by campus sources. * * *

The Chronicle, a subscription only site, http://chronicle.com/daily/2006/07/2006070601n.htm
provides non-subscribers no more than this much of the story. However, Edupage, where I picked up on the story provides its usual summary of stories:

PENTAGON ACKNOWLEDGES MONITORING STUDENT E-MAIL
Surveillance reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the Department of Defense monitored student e-mail as part of its efforts to identify and track potential terrorist suspects. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network filed requests for the
information, and the reports released so far cover e-mail surveillance at the State University of New York at Albany, Southern Connecticut State University, the University of California at Berkeley, and William Paterson University of New Jersey. Student e-mail was monitored when it dealt with protests against the war in Iraq or against the military's "don't ask, don't tell" program concerning gay and lesbian members of the armed forces. Instances of monitoring were evidently prompted by reports of suspicious behavior, but a Pentagon spokesperson would not say who submitted the reports that led to the monitoring described in the surveillance reports. Kermit Hall, president of SUNY-Albany, said his institution is investigating the nature of the monitoring and how it was conducted and would decide later how to proceed.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 July 2006 (sub. req'd)
http://chronicle.com/daily/2006/07/2006070601n.htm


I find Edupage at least one useful source (usually about three times a week) of IT-related stories (with a higher education focus since that's the nature of the sponsoring organization). If interested in trying a free subscription (I have no relationship with the organization) here's the info:

Or, you can subscribe or unsubscribe by sending e-mail to
LISTSERV@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU
To SUBSCRIBE, in the body of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE Edupage YourFirstName YourLastName
To UNSUBSCRIBE, in the body of the message type:
SIGNOFF Edupage












1 comment:

Nicolai Brown said...

It's all about suppressing the government's enemies, namely its people. Why else would they need guns?

It's so obvious as to be beyond consideration.