“Drill”, “Strain”, “Collapse” (No, It’s Not a Greenie’s Nightmare Vision of Offshore Oil Drilling)

Readers are warned to comment with care; Big Sister is (probably) now watching, attracted to this post by the words included in the title.

In America’s brave new world, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set up fake Twitter and Facebook accounts in order to catch a potential criminal.
They claim to be protecting the Internet by invading American’s privacy without warrants, for the sole purpose of catching the bad guys. Really?
DHS says they are now “protecting” Americans by programming a few sensitive hot-key words into their computer programs and then tracking those who are tweeting words they think fit a certain profile.

Queried about this, DHS responded, in part,

… the DHS said that the National Operations Center (NOC) “will gather, store, analyze, and disseminate relevant and appropriate de-identified information to federal, state, local, and foreign governments, and private sector partners authorized to receive situational awareness and a common operating picture,” said the statement.

“De-identified” information??? How would such information be useful if it lacks specificity? If a blog or a Tweeter or a Facebooker poses a threat, wouldn’t local law enforcement need a name to step in and do their job? Or is this just a nice little fib to deflect privacy “freaks”?
As for the “key words” that you will want to avoid so as to stay off DHS’s radar, these include but are not limited to

collapse
illegal immigrant
outbreak
human to animal
infection
trojan
drill
strain
virus

We might or might not get to see the complete list of trigger (DHS is urged to review definition #2 before becoming alarmed about this use of the word “trigger”) words and learn more details about DHS’s social spying program: in February, the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a FOIA request which, in the face of DHS stonewalling, they have escalated to a FOIA lawsuit (PDF).
ADDENDUM
In comments, Andrew shares an amusing illuminating story.

About fifteen years ago, I went to a local department store to buy an alarm clock. I needed to make sure I was buying one that was was sufficiently loud, so I prepared a test run involving the alarm going off 1 minute after it was set. However, I had the am/pm settings wrong, so it didn’t go off as planned. My immediate reaction was to quote Marvin the Martian from the Bugs Bunny cartoons: “Where was the kaboom? There was supposed to have been an earth-shattering kaboom”.
When I want to complete my purchase at the counter, there were about 10 mall security guards standing around the department I was in who hadn’t been there before, and the guy behind the counter was very jittery. Today, in a similar situation, it would probably occur to me not to say that particular Looney Tunes quote out loud.

ADDENDUM II: Marvin the Martian

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

I suppose it is a question of “what can be done, will be done”. I think it is commonly known that the NSA has intercepted and recorded all international calls since the technology became available. Not every call is listened to, but keywords kick it over for human analysis. I have no way of knowing if the info obtained is spread to agencies not involved in national security. I assume it is.
I am a long term member of an Audi board,the Quattro List. In Audi circles the hydraulic pressure accumulator is referred to as the “bomb”. After initialization of Homeland Security, we decided to drop that term from postings.

Andrew
Editor
10 years ago

About fifteen years ago, I went to a local department store to buy an alarm clock. I needed to make sure I was buying one that was was sufficiently loud, so I prepared a test run involving the alarm going off 1 minute after it was set. However, I had the am/pm settings wrong, so it didn’t go off as planned. My immediate reaction was to quote Marvin the Martian from the Bugs Bunny cartoons: “Where was the kaboom? There was supposed to have been an earth-shattering kaboom”.
When I want to complete my purchase at the counter, there were about 10 mall security guards standing around the department I was in who hadn’t been there before, and the guy behind the counter was very jittery. Today, in a similar situation, it would probably occur to me not to say that particular Looney Tunes quote out loud.

brassband
brassband
10 years ago

Prolly not the right place to ask this . . . whatever became of “RI Future?” (I mean the blog . . . not the Ocean State’s actual future) It’s been a while since the site was active, and I wonder if anyone knows what’s up with that?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Who gives a sh*t?
That site was nothing but a sounding board for every socialist,wannabe revolutionary,and trust fund radical in RI.

brassband
brassband
10 years ago

Joe —
Just curious, that’s all.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Glad to see RIFuture gone for the good of Rhode Island’s actual future. Usually I welcome the sharing of different viewpoints, even those with which I disagree, but saying the solution to the state’s problems is more progressivism is like saying Michael Jackson could have benefited from a few more painkillers.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

The losers at RI Future finally figured out that despite winning the battles (by continuing one party rule) they have lost the war.
Pension reform, municipal bankruptcy, welfare cuts, tax cuts “for da rich”, the defeat of Rectal Romeo marriage and other items by a 90% Democrat legislature has scrambled the little brains of the state’s progressive community. Pat Crowley is on the same missing poster as Jimmy Hoffa, Judge Crater and Natalee Holloway.
Too bad. So sad.

Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
10 years ago

Mr Cranston
Why are conservatives like you so hateful? Your party claims to be tolerant and compassionate and also claim that it is the liberals who are hateful.
Yet ALL of your post scream hate and not even a hint of tolerance or compassion.
Rectal Romeo Marriage..I beleive is a term coined by the conservative Rev Fred Phelps

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

sammy-you could make Helen keller hateful.
Brass-it wasn’t directed at you-just in general-the Left never gives up-case in point-Brown radical Libby Kimzey going after a seat held by a typical “in crowd”Dem.No good result possible.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Posted by Sammy
“Rectal Romeo Marriage..I beleive is a term coined by the conservative Rev Fred Phelps”
Sammy, not all is hateful. Ihad never neard theterm,but had to chuckle. It brings to mind that Massachusetts, the first to authorize same sex marriages, still carries “unnatural acts” on the books as a crime. I believe Rhode Island now only regards “sodomy with a beast” to be an “unnatural act”.

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