Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
homeland security


Homeland Security Gets Walmart To Tell You To Inform On Your Neighbors

from the are-they-serious? dept

Sometimes you just wonder what folks in our government are thinking half the time. The latest is that Homeland Security, when it's not busy seizing domains of hip hop blogs, is apparently on a campaign to enlist shoppers at Walmarts in a somewhat creepy attempt to get people to spy on their neighbors. The program is officially called "If You See Something, Say Something" which could be shortened to "Inform on Your Neighbors" if DHS is looking for efficiency.

More bizarre is the Walmart tie-in. As you check out, you'll see a video from Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano reminding customers to watch and report any "suspicious activity."

Does anyone in Homeland Security actually think this sort of thing is effective? I think most people know perfectly well to report anything really suspicious that they see. But seeing Janet Napolitano's talking head at Walmart checkouts telling people to keep an extra special eye out just feels creepy and Big Brother-ish.

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  1. icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), 8 Dec 2010 @ 4:38pm

    Just Where Have We Gone Wrong

    When I was a kid, so many years ago, I was constantly reminded that we (Canadians) and Americans were different from those folks behind the Iron Curtain because we weren't constantly spying on each other and living in total paranoia.

    So we were free, had liberties and rights those people didn't. Perhaps a bit overstated even for the 1950s but essentially true.

    And now we're being asked to be government informants while standing in line to pay for shoddy goods in the world's largest retailer. (BTW, those folks behind the Iron Curtain had shoddy goods, too, when they could get them at all.)

    Do you suppose this was what Eisnehower was warning about when he left office warning about things like the Military-Industrial comples and other dangers?

    Just suppose.

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