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Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don't want the government spying on you

  • Department of Homeland Security forced to release list following freedom of information request
  • Agency insists it only looks for evidence of genuine threats to the U.S. and not for signs of general dissent[/*]

The Department of Homeland Security
has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to
monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist
or other threats against the U.S.

The intriguing the list includes obvious choices such as 'attack', 'Al
Qaeda', 'terrorism' and 'dirty bomb' alongside dozens of seemingly
innocent words like 'pork', 'cloud', 'team' and 'Mexico'.

Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light
on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet
searching for domestic and external threats.

The words are included in 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'.

Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over
documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit which
revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organizations
for comments that 'reflect adversely' on the government.

However they insisted the practice was aimed not at policing the internet for
disparaging remarks about the government and signs of general dissent,
but to provide awareness of any potential threats.

As well as terrorism, analysts are instructed to search for evidence of
unfolding natural disasters, public health threats and serious crimes
such as mall/school shootings, major drug busts, illegal immigrant busts.

The list has been posted online by the Electronic Privacy Information
Center - a privacy watchdog group who filed a request under the Freedom
of Information Act before suing to obtain the release of the documents.

In a letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on
Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, the centre described the choice of
words as 'broad, vague and ambiguous'.

They point out that it includes 'vast amounts of First Amendment
protected speech that is entirely unrelated to the Department of
Homeland Security mission to protect the public against terrorism and disasters.'

A senior Homeland Security official told the Huffington Post that the
manual 'is a starting point, not the endgame' in maintaining situational
awareness of natural and man-made threats and denied that the
government was monitoring signs of dissent.

However the agency admitted that the language used was vague and in need of updating.

Spokesman Matthew Chandler told website: 'To ensure clarity, as part of ...
routine compliance review, DHS will review the language contained in all
materials to clearly and accurately convey the parameters and intention
of the program.'

Read more:

Added: May-27-2012 Occurred On: May-27-2012
By: Ahhyoou
Regional News, WTF, Other Entertainment, Conspiracy, Propaganda
Tags: news, dhs, spying, government
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 3300 | Comments: 86 | Votes: 3 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 2 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 3
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