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One of breakout standup routines from the late, great George Carlin was his 1972 monologue Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television. In the presence of polite company, I shall not repeat them but rest assured, the routine is still hilarious to this day.
I wish I could say the same about the Department of Homeland Security I wish I could say this is all a big joke that the governments 377 words you can never use online is just some stupid comedy routine.
But its not. And you just cant make this stuff.
After vigorous resistance, the Department of Homeland Security was finally forced into releasing its 2011 Analysts Desktop Binder. Its a manual of sorts, teaching all the storm troopers who monitor our Internet activity all day which key words to look for.
Facebook, a.k.a. the US governments domestic intelligence center, is the primary target for this monitoring though its become clear so many times before that various departments, including the NSA and FBI, are monitoring online activity ranging from search terms to emails.
Domestic spying is typically denied in public and swept under the rug. After all, its legality has always been questionable if not entirely Unconstitutional.
Yet month after month it seems, there is new legislation introduced to deprive Internet users of their privacy and make the open collection of data a natural part of the online landscape.
Homeland Securitys key word hotlist is really no surprise theyre just the ones to get caught.
So now we know, at least, what these goons are looking for. Sort of.
According to the manual, DHS breaks down its monitoring into a whopping 14 categories ranging from Health to Fire to Terrorism. Its a testament to how bloated the departments scope has become.
Afterwards there is a list of 377 of key terms to monitor, most of which are completely innocuous. Exercise. Cloud. Leak. Sick. Organization. Pork. Bridge. Smart. Tucson. Target. China. Social media.
Curiously, in its Critical Information Requirements, the manual decrees that analysts should also catalog items which may reflect adversely on DHS and response activities.
Absolutely unreal. Big Brother is not just watching. Hes digging, searching, reading, monitoring, archiving, and judging too.
Have you hit your breaking point yet?
= Complete list of DHS monitoring keywords =