Rep. Chaffetz: Don’t want government ‘searching my Facebook page’

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) warned that the government’s search for information online is approaching a “dangerous line” of infringing on people’s liberties.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Chaffetz said that there has to be a balance between liberty and security, even as the government works to hunt down potential terrorists.

“We have a very dangerous line — I don’t want my federal government going in and searching my Facebook page,” Chaffetz said.

The way the federal government tracks potential terrorism suspects has come under scrutiny in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, after it was revealed that the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was placed on a watch list.

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Chaffetz raised the concerns about the government searching for information online after Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), another panelist, had discussed investigators’ data mining in the Boston case.

“Why did it not trigger other watches through this process with the FBI?” Blackburn said.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, said that many people are looking at what happened when Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to Dagestan, a volatile region of Russia and the trip was not flagged because of a name misspelling.

He noted that his committee has hearings scheduled already to look at the problems with inter-agency information sharing that have stemmed from this case.