All Department of Defense personnel will now must undergo “continuous vetting” and should quickly be topic to surveillance of their social media posts in an try to identify extremists.

“Whether it’s an event-driven look at social media, whether it’s a regular continuous look at some social media or whether it’s a one-time — when they’re investigated — look at social media, there’s different ways you could use some of the social media, search capabilities that are out there,” William Ok. Lietzau, who leads the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, told Defense One. “We’re still right now analyzing how much value we think there is.”

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The new coverage will look to enhance the safety clearance course of for DOD personnel, who’re presently topic to an preliminary investigation however should not have follow-up investigation carried out for 5 or extra years. The new system will look to mechanically increase flags if new info pops up between checks, corresponding to when somebody has been arrested.

The new coverage additionally comes because the DOD has sought methods to combat extremist views within the army, after it was revealed that one in every of each 5 defendants within the Jan. 6 Capitol riots had served within the army.

But the DOD may also must grapple with the way to deal with social media posts, that are sometimes harder conditions to investigate than an arrest report or an inner report generated by safety companies. 

Lietzau mentioned that posts that trace towards violence and anti-government motion are likely to by extra hyperbolic than literal, making it needed for the DOD to collect extra info earlier than taking motion towards a person.

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Lietzau additionally mentioned that DOD has been utilizing contractors in pilot packages in an effort to find out the way to embody the extra info into the screening course of, however famous that DOD officers will nonetheless have the ultimate say in particular instances.