11 months, 3 weeks ago
Here is the scoop on keywords.
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 organisations 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.
Hmmm. Reflects adversely on DHS and response activities, huh? The words in the long list include terror, response, al Qaeda, organized crime, Mexico, Hazmat, North Korea, Sinaloa, gangs, trafficking, and so on. All of these are words I use regularly, and I know I get regular visits from the DHS.
But this issue of reflecting adversely on the DHS is really bothersome and scary. So let’s cover our positions again. As long as we:
Continue to seek negotiations with the Taliban, the very enemy who harbored al Qaeda, and as long as we allow the porous border with Mexico to potentially allow Hezbollah fighters to ensconce themselves in America after crossing …
And as long as we:
Send in fat ass agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Gibson Guitar (led by a noted Obama critic) wearing Tru-Spec tactical pants and drop holsters, and send in DHS agents to raid flea markets, release Taliban fighters, raid the Department of Defense budget as a piggy bank for social programs, let our Secretary of Defense worry over anthropogenic global warming …
And as long as we:
Ask our TSA agents to feel up little boys and girls, and investigate old women’s sanitary things, and as long as we want the TSA to be a federal jobs program for goobers, hicks, rednecks and other incompetents, well then …
We aren’t prepared for Taliban / al Qaeda / Hezbollah / Iranian Mullahs versus America. There are even some very basic homeland threats for which are are ill prepared. But the list goes on, and we’ve discussed all of this before, haven’t we? Is the DHS listening closely enough? Was I clear enough?