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DHS followed 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 responses and reflections on potential threats of violence.

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

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 protection of privacy, civil rights and civil liberties.”

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

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

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Meanwhile, the Senate released a report on Wednesday accusing DHS and the FBI of failing to adequately monitor domestic extremists and criticizing social media platforms for encouraging the proliferation of violent and anti-government content.

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

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

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

“DHS takes a community-based approach to preventing terrorism and targeted violence and does so in a manner that protects privacy, civil rights and civil liberties, and adheres to all applicable laws,” said a spokesman for the DHS. department.

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“To this end, DHS regularly shares information about the heightened threat environment with federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officials to ensure the safety and security of all communities across the country. As of 2021, DHS has provided 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 to stay safe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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