Don’t tweet about food, or exercise, or animals! If you do, you might be a terrorist.
Other words that terrorists apparently like to use include wave, pork, and metro — so definitely nix those Facebook complaints about how slow the Red Line is today, because the Department of Homeland Security is watching.
If this sounds ridiculous, overreaching, and like a huge violation of privacy, that’s because it is:
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) just released DHS internal documents about the surveillance of social media and the information collected daily. EPIC gained access to the documents with a lawsuit, pushing the Freedom of Information Act.
The documents included hundreds of keywords that the government tracks.
The Department of Homeland Security initiative started in February 2011. The department aimed to use social media to stay in-the-know about breaking news as it’s happening. Tweets mentioning “attack” or “shooting” could, for instance, alert officials disturbances to national security right away.
Yes, if we’d only had Twitter in 2001, I’m sure DHS could have prevented everything by intercepting bin Laden’s “Big plans to attack American today! #twintowers #terrorism” tweet.