Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, bloggers and social media users now know the hundreds of words that they should avoid using online to keep from being scrutinized by the Department of Homeland Security.
The words are included in the DHS’s 2011 “Analyst’s Desktop Binder,” which is used by workers at the National Operations Center where agents learn to identify “media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities.” The goal of the agency is to track any remarks that show signs of general dissent against the government or its agencies, though DHS officials insist that the data collection is only to assess threats.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center has criticized the list, calling it “broad, vague and ambiguous” and pointing out that it includes “vast amounts of First Amendment protected speech that is entirely unrelated to the Department of Homeland Security mission to protect the public against terrorism and disasters.”
So what might get you flagged? Here’s the list: