health

DHS to roll out disease outbreak surveillance grid to spy on health of Americans

Friday, September 13, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: DHS, surveillance grid, disease outbreak

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Delicious
(NaturalNews) Naturally, the government is passing it off as a necessity - something that it must do in order to keep the nation safe. But what it really amounts to is just another massive surveillance scheme.

In continuing former Secretary Janet Napolitano's Gestapo-like police state, the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs wants to keep tabs on reported outbreaks of infectious diseases worldwide. To do so, the DHS agency "plans to contract with a small business to provide a 'real-time data feed,' drawn from at least 25,000 online sources, on a 24/7 basis, with its content updated at least hourly," according to Government Security News (GSN).

This new data feed (our government loves its "data feeds," doesn't it?) will be delivered in RSS format and will provide the Feds a means of sharing said information throughout the government, as well as outside of it, when it is doing so "for U.S. government purposes," says a small business set-aside solicitation that was issued by DHS Sept. 3.

"Through management of the Department's operational biodefense programs, including the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC), [the office of health affairs] conducts biosurveillance activities to enable early warning and situational awareness of acute biological events and support better decisions through rapid identification, characterization, localization, and tracking," the solicitation says.

Okay, but what is the CDC for?

Per GSN:

The real-time data feed would be based on "publicly available reported information," would originate in material published in at least five different languages (English, Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese), and be translated into English. The information presented in the data feed would include the specific disease, location, time stamp of the original publication and details of the event derived from the original reporting source.

The DHS health affairs office envisions a contract with a one-year base period, in addition to a further one-year option, according to the solicitation. Interested vendors are to reply to DHS by Sept. 13.

This is interesting, considering that there is already an agency that "monitors global disease outbreaks" - namely, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

From the CDC's website:

CDC is the only U.S. government agency with the scientific expertise to quickly respond to infectious disease outbreaks. But if there is a weakness in the health monitoring system in any one country, it becomes a threat to all countries. Because of this critical need, CDC created the Global Disease Detection Program (GDDP) and began establishing regional centers throughout the world. These well-placed centers build the ability to detect and respond to disease threats and close the gaps in vulnerable geographic areas. Currently, there are eight regional centers (more are being planned) in China, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, South Africa, and Thailand.

Why, exactly, would another government agency - particularly one with as broad a mandate as DHS - need to "monitor" the globe for disease outbreaks? Can't someone from DHS have someone from CDC call them if there is an outbreak? And just what is this "Office of Health Affairs?"

Well, according to the agency's website, its function is: "To advise, promote, integrate, and enable a safe and secure workforce and nation in pursuit of national health security."

Another agency to 'monitor' disease outbreaks?

If that sounds vague to you, don't worry - you're not alone. But what's more, the agency's stated mission duplicates that of the CDC:

"The Office of Health Affairs (OHA) serves as the Department of Homeland Security's principal authority for all medical and health issues. OHA provides medical, public health, and scientific expertise in support of the Department of Homeland Security mission to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all threats [emphasis added]."

And the agency is using a boatload of "data feeds" in order to essentially mimic CDC's function.

Sounds dubious to us, at best. And why not? What has this government done lately to comply with its constitutional duty to protect your privacy?

Sources:

http://www.gsnmagazine.com

http://www.cdc.gov

http://www.dhs.gov

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