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surveillance nation

Homeland Security no longer needs permission to monitor civilian government agencies' networks

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken for itself the authority to monitor civilian government agencies' computer networks for security breaches without advance permission.

Per an October 3 memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget, this new project will have the DHS scan "internet accessible addresses and public facing segments of Federal civilian agency systems for vulnerabilities on an ongoing basis as well as in response to newly discovered vulnerabilities on an urgent basis, to include without prior agency authorization on an emergency basis where not prohibited by law."

The lack of prior authorization means the DHS will be able to scan government websites and systems used by ordinary citizens at will. The monitoring will be done by a DHS program called Einstein E3A, which reportedly has been "plagued by problems with acquisition rules, personnel turnover, and liability."