FEMA Ratchets Up the Warnings on… Social Networks?

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A press release dropped in my email box this morning that was titled:

FEMA Warns: We Are At War With An Enemy That Wants To Destroy Our Way of Life

“Oh, neat,” I thought to myself. A couple years after Hurricane Katrina, FEMA is finally waking up to the very real danger of global warming. This “we are at war” angle is their hip, cool way to raise awareness.

Whoops. Here’s what the press release is actually about.

Ira Grossman, Chief Architect of FEMA, warned architects and security executives in his keynote address at the GTRA Symposium, about the risks associated with collaboration tools, stating that “as we move to a Web 2.0 collaborative environment, we are at war with an enemy that wants to destroy our way of life and society through coordinated terrorist attacks followed by cyber attacks.”

That’s right. The danger FEMA wants us to be aware of is Facebook, not climate change. Or more accurately, federal employees potentially making government information vulnerable by using Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks. As in, “Federal employees are now using social networking tools on the job, raising new challenges that executives need to deal with immediately.” That “we are at war with an enemy that wants to destroy our way of life” language is 100 percent earnest.

Please rest easy. FEMA is on the job. Or a job, anyway.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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