DHS, Electronic Privacy Information Center, EPIC, Facebook, FOIA, Freedom of Information Act request, General Dynamics, government, list of terms, London Daily Mail, monitors Internet, reads email, spy, Twitter, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Leave it to the U.S. government to take something beautiful, like cyber-stalking, and turn it into something dirty and threatening.
According to the London Daily Mail, a Freedom of Information Act request compelled the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to release the list of terms it uses to monitor social media and other Internet sites for threats to the government. Here’s the original article with all the terms.
Much like a good search engine patrols the Internet to give you the most relevant search data, our government has computers to sniff out dissent. More specifically, they’ve outsourced the task to General Dynamics, a military contractor. This company monitors sites like Twitter and Facebook to make sure people who use the forbidden terms are watched.
It’s funny how our government frequently criticizes China for doing things like monitoring the Internet, but we’re going the exact same thing. I wonder if General Dynamics will also get the contract to build the internment camps where dissenters will be sent.
Some of the terms on this list are mind boggling. Some that stick out are “help, bust, lightning and snow.” Do they think Al Qaeda (also a watch word) can control the weather and throw lightning bolts at us? It’s also telling the U.S. government made the term nationalist a monitored term.
If you’re a patriot who supports their country, the U.S. government assumes you’re a terrorist. That speaks volumes how they really feel about the brave men and women who still believe in this country and risk their lives defending it.
There’s a tendency to brush things like this off, but it’s far more frightening than you think. According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the group who sued to get DHS to release the list, DHS analysts are also “specifically instructed to look for criticism of the agency.”
Now, if you criticize the government, you also get monitored. That makes perfect sense. I’m sure potential terrorists would post online criticisms of DHS and TSA. That’s not something ordinary Americans would do. Nothing at all frightening about that.