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Sunday, May 27, 2012

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

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 social networking sites when looking for “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.
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Judy Morris,
Blogger, THL
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