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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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