Dept. of Homeland Security Forced to Release List of Keywords Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites

May 28, 2012

By Reuven Cohen, Contributor Forbes

If you are thinking about tweeting about clouds, pork, exercise or even Mexico, think again. Doing so may result in a closer look by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In a story appearing earlier today on the U.K’s Daily Mail website, it was reported that the DHS has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor various social networking sites. The list provides a glimpse into what DHS describes as “signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.”

The list was posted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, before suing to obtain the release of the documents. The documents were part of the department’s 2011 ’Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.

The information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats. The Daily Mail’s article noted the Electronic Privacy Information Center wrote a letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, describing it’s choice of words as ‘broad, vague and ambiguous’.

What wasn’t disclosed is how the agency actually gains access to the various search engines and social networks to monitor the specified keywords. My guess is the DHS has a “special arrangement” with companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Twitter to gain secure direct API access. This type of access would allow it to use distributed cloud technologies to monitor the daily flow of social media and search activity in something close to real time.

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2 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • Norma Nicholson says:

    And we thought 1984 was way out there. Today we live with Big Brother and it makes 1984 seem like Disneyland.

    Not only do we not have any rights but we are dangerous to the environment because we emit CO2 and contribute top the demise of the planet. What we think, even if we didn’t know we had the thought, let alone what we say, can get us put in FEMA camps with no hope of anyone even knowing we are there.

    I know we are near the end of time, but even in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t think up all the mess the UN has going on with their Agenda 21 and what Obama has put in place. If the world doesn’t return to God extremely fast, we are living in hell on earth and it is hard to think of how bad the real hell will be like. It is nearing the point where we have no rights to even breath and I don’t like where this downward spiral is headed.

    1. Gnowark says:

      Norma, It wouldn’t be quite as bad if it wasn’t ALL hype and unfounded BS, You may not be encouraged to know in the 3 years since you wrote this, NWO is still made to seem like a ‘solution’ instead of a large part of the problem. And God (through Christians and Jews) is blamed for the problems that not following his teachings cause. ‘Tis a strange land indeed, STILL!

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