The Department of Homeland Security is getting with the times: it's coming to Facebook and Twitter.
As part of a wholesale change to the way it announces terror threats, the agency plans to use Facebook and Twitter to relay the information about its new warning levels, which are now elevated and imminent. Sources familiar with the situation said the agency is using Facebook and Twitter because that is where many people now get their news.
The same sources confirmed that DHS plans to discard the old system, which had five levels from low to severe with associated colors, cutting that back to two. However, when threats appear the DHS might not announce them to the public at all, especially if it exposes an intelligence operation or an ongoing investigation.
The new system was outlined in a 19-page report. It described the process in which terror alerts would be relayed to the public. The news would first come to Congress, then to counterterrorism officials in states and cities, to governors and mayors and ultimately, the public. Alerts would go up on Facebook only after federal, state and local government leaders had been notified.
The plan will be implemented April 27.