‘Chilling effect’ of monitoring social media
Bill Bumpas – OneNewsNow – 4/5/2012
The head of a conservative legal action foundation warns that the White House is heading down a road that will eventually trample on the First Amendment rights of those on social networking websites.
Gary Kreep, executive director of the United States Justice Foundation (USJF), tells OneNewsNow the Obama administration is targeting Marine Sgt. Gary Stein for remarks he made on Facebook while off duty . Stein is currently facing possible disciplinary action “for daring to say that he would obey the U.S. Constitution, as opposed to an unconstitutional order from Mr. Obama,” Kreep reports. “They’re trying to run him out of the Marine Corps.”
But he says the Obama administration’s close monitoring of social network sites is nothing new.
“They announced it last year that they’d set up a whole brand new office and governmental bureaucracy within the White House to monitor the social websites so that they can respond to the distortions and lies being spread about Mr. Obama,” Kreep recalls. “That’s your taxpayer money being used to monitor us on a daily basis, and that’s just wrong. It has a chilling effect on people.”
He believes a clear message is being sent to military personnel and citizens alike that “they better not do anything, because anything they say can and will be used against them no matter what their constitutional rights are.”
The USJF executive director does not think it is right for the administration to deter people from making their disagreements with the president known.