Doug Bedell — March 8, 2011, 3:57 pm

So Many Eyes Seeing So Much

While the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is promoting its  “See Something, Say Something”campaign for the general public, it’s increasingly important to maintain security vigilance at given at-risk facilities. That’s because the general campaign is threatening to overwhelm the system, says Homeland Security Newswire.

David Rittgers, a legal policy analyst for the Cato Institute, thinks the national security agencies are overwhelmed with information. “While there is value in getting a person on the street to be aware and report suspicious activities, you can also create too many false positives,” Rittgers is quoted as saying.

The analyst says the FBI receives about 700 messages a day and the National Counterterrorism Center gets about 10,000 pieces of information  daily. “People talk about connecting dots,” Rittgers said. “But it’s knowing which dots to connect that has value….The commitment to simply collect all the dots might not be as useful as a lot of people would propose.”

Still, there’s value in having people alert to perturbing presences in familiar settings. And DHS, advises Homeland Security Newswire, is planning to expand its campaign in coming months with educational materials and outreach tools.

Currently, the awareness campaign has been launched with the National Football League, more than 9,000 federal buildings, approximately 818 Walmarts, the Mall of America, the American Hotel Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the general aviation industry.

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