US Homeland Security is building a media and journalist database including bloggers, podcasters and influencers in English, Arabian and Russian language.

Freedom of the press protester
Americans enjoy freedom of the press as one of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, but for how much longer?

(— April 9, 2018) — The Committee to Protect Journalists launched its annual Free The Press campaign to raise awareness regarding media that is being suppressed and journalists that are stalked, imprisoned, battered and killed for writing something that their government just didn’t like.

Journalists from many countries all over the globe are fighting for their rights because freedom of the press is the foundation of democracy. The US is considered the glorious example of the free press and democracy, but that may soon change.

The Department of Homeland Security is about to make a list of media and journalists, also bloggers, podcasters and other influencers, so their work can be monitored.

Ahead of World press freedom day, the DHS is building a database of journalists filtering them according to similarity.

Explaining the necessity of such a database, the DHS said: “NPPD/OUS [National Protection and Programs Directorate/Office of the Under Secretary] has a critical need to incorporate these functions into their programs in order to better reach Federal, state, local, tribal and private partners.” The document also states that the NPPD’s mission is “to protect and enhance the resilience of the nation’s physical and cyberinfrastructure.”

It is not easy to interpret these lines as what they should represent, but according to the article published by Forbes, it could be the next step of suppressing freedom after the first step is entering the final phase – demolishing trust in media. US president Donald Trump “normalized” the term “fake news.”

Giving the amount of “fake news” in US media, especially regarding Russian meddling in the US Elections of 2016, controlling the press seems like a logical approach. However, giving the media influence on public opinion and controlling that opinion with a tighter government encroachment of freedom of press is exactly what Trump’s administration yearns.

The job of Homeland Security is to protect the President, and Trump is under attack. The attackers represent an army of people who disagree with Trump’s presidency, so making a database of each influencer is a list of “enemies of the State.”

It is not yet known how exactly these different thinkers would be treated, but making a list of them is a serious setback in freedom of press, giving the “free world” an entirely different meaning.