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.
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'.
It is clear that this is mostly not aimed at terrorists: even a lot of terrorism related words are ones the rest of us would use to talk about them, rather than they would use to talk about themselves.
The article says:
"analysts monitor social networks and media organisations for comments that 'reflect adversely' on the government."
I guess the aim is to look for comment critical of security policy. It would explain the use of the word pork (as in pork barrel), for example. Islamic (or even other types) of terrorist are unlikely to be discuss pork.
analysts monitor social networks and media organisations for comments that 'reflect adversely' on the government
Oh, right. The First Amendment only says "Congress shall make no law". It doesn't say anything about "Homeland Security shall not snoop."
hello chinese internet
Hey, better than the North Korean version. I discovered while looking for something else that the entire country has a single /22 block allocated to it. That's right around 1000 IP addresses for a country of 25 million. Or, more to the point, one per carefully screened top government official. Even the Antarctic has more.*
* /19. Don't take my word for it; look it up. It's under RIPE. You'd expect LACNIC wouldn't you?