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Crowd-Sourcing Homeland Security Oversight

Flickr Photo/Steve Rhodes

Ross Reynolds interviewed Brooke Gladstone, host and managing editor of WNYC’s On The Media, about a new project that is using listeners to take on a very big task: holding the Department of Homeland Security accountable for its policies and practices.

The project was inspired by the experience of On The Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman. While traveling back to the United States from a wedding in Canada, Abdurrahman, her family and friends were held for six hours at the border. They were interrogated, had their phones confiscated, were searched multiple times and received very little communication as to why they were being held or for how long they would be there.

When Abdurrahman got back to New York she decided to investigate the laws governing the Department of Homeland Security and what rights citizens are afforded at border crossings. The answers turned out to be much harder to come by than expected.

Information about and around the agency is very hard to attain.So how do you get more transparency? According to former Congressman Lee Hamilton, the most effective method is to contact your congressional leaders.

So On The Media is now crowd-sourcing answers.

They have started a program called "Shed Light on DHS." It is designed to connect listeners to their congressional representatives so they can asks what Congress is doing to police Homeland Security.

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