Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) is pushing President Joe Biden, Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Director of Nationwide Intelligence Avril Haines to incorporate social media posts as a part of a navy recruit’s background examine, with a view to forestall “white-supremacists and extremists” from becoming a member of the navy.
Speier wrote in a January 29, 2021, letter to Biden, Austin, and Haines that the Division of Protection and the U.S. Authorities at massive usually are not “effectively screening servicemembers and other individuals with sensitive roles for white-supremacist and violent extremist ties.”
She wrote, “Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Gab, Parler, and 4Chan, are frequently used by domestic terrorist groups to recruit members and plan violent attacks, including in some of the above cases involving military servicemembers.”
Referring to the January 6 protest and Capitol constructing breach, she added:
These platforms have been essential for planning the January 6, 2021, home terrorist assault upon the U.S. Capitol and the Congress of america. But social media just isn’t reviewed through the navy’s accessions course of and even as a part of the background investigation course of for safety clearances, regardless of assortment and reporting of different intrusive, personal knowledge, similar to monetary and behavioral well being data.
She referred to as on Biden to situation an Government Order figuring out white supremacy and violent extremism as a crucial risk that have to be thought of as a part of the safety clearance adjudication course of and direct all related companies to replace the background investigation course of to include a evaluation of social media data to establish white supremacist or violent extremist ties.
She referred to as on Austin to direct the navy companies to ascertain procedures to evaluation the social media exercise of recruits as a part of the accessions course of, together with the event of steering to help recruiters in figuring out extremist teams and actions.
“Whereas I imagine strongly that the actions advisable on this letter have been justified for fairly a while, the appalling occasions on the Capitol this month—and the central function of social media of their planning and group—provide a brand new sense of urgency.
“The screening processes for servicemembers and others in critical national security positions are outdated. Modernizing background investigations to bring them in line with these new realities should be among your highest priorities as the new administration commences,” she wrote.
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