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You could be on the government’s watch list

(Updated May 29, 2012, at 3:30 pm MDT)DHS logo

Here you go, boys and girls: A list of words and phrases to avoid using online in emails, blog posts, social media, etc., if you don’t want to attract undue government attention. It’s an official list, too, direct from the Department of Homeland Security’s own Analyst’s Desktop Binder, compliments of a freedom of information (FOI) request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Having done more than my share of ranting about the DHS and TSA, two items on the list, I’ve probably already attracted more than my share of attention. Of course, if they interpret the rants of an angry grandmother as a threat, then the entire country is in serious trouble. Not that it isn’t already.

It appears I’m also guilty for having mentioned cops, law enforcement, first responder, security, threat, nuclear, epidemic, flu, vaccine, infrastructure, electric, fundamentalism, tornado, forest fire, blizzard, help, Mexico, hacker, and social media — on numerous occasions. And I can’t resist mentioning that although I’m guilty of mentioning lightning several times, our government is only watching for lightening. Nevertheless, if I suddenly vanish from the face of the earth, look for me in Gitmo (thanks to the NDAA), which is still open for business …

It’s no wonder those guys in Washington can’t seem to accomplish anything worthwhile. They’re all too busy watching social media and policing grandmothers.

The complete list:

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10 thoughts on “You could be on the government’s watch list

  1. The list has been around a lot longer than the Homeland Security Department, there have been some additions, but the modern, Internet-based focus has been around since people first started using Netscape. I don’t know how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, but non-court authorized communications wiretapping has been going on for decades now. People just started paying attention when the HSD was created.

    This is where it started:

    1. I’ve known for years that Internet traffic was being monitored, but I didn’t get really concerned until the government freaked out after 9/11 with the Patriot Act, Gitmo, preemptive war, TSA, etc. This is the first time I can recall seeing a list of specific words that DHS watches for. No doubt their filters these days are extremely sophisticated (phrases, slang, colloquialisms, context, source, synonyms, misspellings and variations, etc.), but it is interesting to see some key words.

  2. I’m thinking we should all do a scene like the Chef with Tourettes at the end of Curb Your Enthusiasm, but instead of yelling profanity, we should yell these words.

  3. I checked an IP address that hit my site 3 times one day and guess who it was… the DOD! The Dept of Defense found something of interest on day – but hasn’t been back yet to my knowledge. I’m guessing because I had posted key watch words a few months ago just like you did here. So, it is true… they do watch and check you out.

    1. I haven’t checked any IP addresses lately because I have to go off site to do it, but maybe I’d better look for that. Maybe I should have included a special greeting to them at the end of the post …

  4. I did a page search of this post and the EPIC list and was unable to find “NSA”. Does anyone else see that as sinister? Hmm.

    “The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.” – 1984, George Orwell

    1. I haven’t checked the EPIC site, but it wouldn’t show up in a page search here because the list I’ve posted isn’t text; it’s several images. Just looking at it, however, I don’t see NSA. Hmm …

... and that's my two cents