DHS monitored reactions to Roe verdict on social media: report

Within days of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began monitoring social media reactions and reflections for possible threats of violence.

The DHS bulletin, obtained by Yahoo News, was written by the department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A).

FILE: The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen during a news conference in Washington, Feb. 25, 2015.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The DHS told Fox News Digital that I&A is authorized to evaluate “publicly available information” in support of authorized missions. These evaluations, I&A said, are approved by the Attorney General and “ensure protections for privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.”

“I&A regularly shares information with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to prevent, protect against, or better respond to targeted violence and terrorism,” DHS said.

MAYORKAS SAYS ‘ENTIRE HEMISPHERE IS SUFFERING A MIGRATION CRISIS’ DAYS AFTER SAYING SOUTHERN BORDER IS SECURE

Republican lawmakers have in the past criticized DHS for further “politicizing” itself in the name of dispelling “disinformation.” Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has testified before Congress that the department adheres to privacy guidelines and First Amendment protections.

The Senate, meanwhile, released a report on Wednesday accusing DHS and the FBI of failing to adequately monitor domestic extremists and faulted social media platforms for encouraging the spread of violent and antigovernment content.

The report, issued by the Senate Homeland Security panel, called on federal law enforcement to reassess its overall response to the threat of homegrown terrorism and extremism.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland” on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 15, 2022.
(REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy)

The report recommends creating new definitions for extremism shared between agencies, improved reporting on crimes linked to white supremacy and antigovernment groups, and better use of social media to prevent violence, said Sen. Gary Peters, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the committee.

The DHS told Fox News Digital that addressing domestic violent extremism remains a “top priority” for the department.

“DHS engages in a community-based approach to prevent terrorism and targeted violence and does so in ways that protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties, and that adhere to all applicable laws,” a department spokesperson said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“To that end, DHS regularly shares information regarding the heightened threat environment with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officials to ensure the safety and security of all communities across the country. Since 2021, DHS has issued more than 110 unclassified intelligence products related to domestic violent extremism, as well as six National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) bulletins that contextualize the evolving threat environment for the public and provide resources for how to stay safe.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.