The Department of Homeland Security posted a contract request this week for “Media Monitoring Services,” which will compile a database of hundreds of thousands of journalists, bloggers and “media influencers” for the federal government. After an outcry on social media, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman tweeted “this is nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media.”
The work request from DHS seeks a firm that has the ability to monitor up to 290,000 global news sources; ability to track media coverage in up to 100 languages and the ability to “track online, print, broadcast, cable, radio, trade and industry publications, local sources, national/international outlets, traditional news sources, and social media.”
The work request also seeks the ability to build lists of journalists based on beat, location, outlet type/size and journalist role. Creating an online “media influence database” is also included.
DHS spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton tweeted that “despite what some reporters may suggest,” this is “standard.”
“Any suggestion otherwise is fit for tin foil hat wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists,” Houlton wrote.