“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
human to animal
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).
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