Never let it be said that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has time on its hands--this week the prominent government agency's twitter presence has either followed or made news.
According to OhMyGov Analytics, the agency experienced a flurry of Twitter mentions between May 17 and May 22 where over 5,300 references to the agency were made--a growth of 481 percent.
Over 1,300 tweets were recorded on May 17 alone, ranging from DHS's decision to bar Facebook co-founder Eduardo Severin from entering the U.S. to accusations to the NATO Summit in Chicago on Monday and now fresh allegations that the DHS and other federal agencies are spying on Occupy protesters at protests and marches have been circulating on the popular social network.
The most recent influx started to surface May 22 as allegations that the agency--along with the FBI, local police, and other groups--have been spying on the Occupy movement due to documents unearthed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund through the federal governments Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The documents show the depth of local law enforcement relationships where DHS officials were also communicating with local authorities in cities where Occupy Wall Street protests occurred.
To add to the agency's Twitter roller-coaster ride, DHS was in the limelight earlier this week--this time revolving around the dearth of DHS-related trade shows and lack of contractor funding, a problem that has concerned some in the emergency management community. Over 1,208 tweets were written about the topic alone--many of them retweets of articles in the mainstream media.
"This is the worst I've been to in years," Contractor Jason Henry said in an interview with the Huffington Post's Andrea Stone during an expo at the Washington Convention Center. "Nobody's walking the show."
Nearly ten years after the Department of Homeland Security was incorporated and billions of dollars flooded to places in Iowa, Nebraska, and other states under the color of protecting America's heartland from would-be terrorists. Just 37 billion was allocated for that purpose in 2012. Over 635 billion dollars has been spent overall for homeland security since 2001.
But that hasn't dampened the fears of some.
"Homeland security...or oppression?" One user wrote.