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DHS Tracks Facebook, Twitter Users

January 2, 2012 by  

DHS Tracks Facebook, Twitter Users

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is suing the Department of Homeland Security for a new program that tracks individuals’ social media activity if they are deemed a threat by using certain keywords in posts.

The organization claims “legal authority for the DHS program remains unclear” and asked a Federal court last week to compel the department to turn over documents on the initiative.

DHS makes fake Twitter and Facebook profiles for the specific purpose of scanning the networks for “sensitive” words and tracking the people who use them. The words on the DHS list range from things that might suggest the mention of bioweapons to more obscure words like “drill,” “strain” and “illegal immigrant,” according to The Daily Mail.

The latest controversy involving the Federal government’s attempts to meddle with the Internet comes as the debate continues over the House Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate Protect IP Act — both of which would impose China-like Internet regulations in the United States.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • s c

    Is everybody happy? Let the champagne flow. Pop those corks. Sadly, Frank Zappa didn’t live long enough to see who would win the infamous Who Are the Brain Police award.
    Everybody who showed up for the program today gets a complete Who’s Who (and why they’re on wanted posters in every Post Office). Thanks for coming, sheeple. America got what it paid for – or did it? [you were right, Frank. the 'establishment' was bought and paid for long ago. Tipper thought it was all about music]

    • Al Sieber

      You hit the nail on the head.

    • BSG

      Can you see me now?
      Can you see me now?
      Can you see me now?
      Can you see me now?
      Can you see me now?

  • Ralphous

    FOS…. Freedom of speech is no longer protected in this country! Our “Bill of Rights” is under attack on all fronts! To quote Robert Louis Stevenson -”Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.”- Get some backbone folks.

    • Vigilant

      I believe this is more of a 4th Amendment issue.

  • James

    “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech,” if one believes these acts of Congress are violating that, write your congressmen and complain about it.

    • Vigilant

      See above.

      • Jazzabelle

        Vigilant, with the Supreme Court precedents prohibiting behavior that MIGHT have “a chilling effect” on the exercise of free speech, this certainly IS a first-amendment issue.

        But, I don’t see how it could possibly be a fourth-amendment issue. That only applies to areas where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. If you post something on the Internet, well … I don’t see the fourth amendment offering you any protection from your own indiscretions.

        • Vigilant

          I believe you’re right, and I stand corrected.

  • Lawrence Ekdahl

    It seems most of our elected government people lie when they swear to uphold and defend the constitution.

    • Les

      Do you believe that they actually have read the Constitution of the United States? Nobody reads anything past the first paragraph. Why do you think Lawyers write so expansively on everything. They know for a fact no one will read it. As Pelosi said “We have to pass the this so people can read it.” What a stupid nation we turned out to be. The have been chipping away at our freedoms for over one hundred years so now they are just accelerating the process. This happened because people stopped being involved. Just look at the voting population in the last presidential election. How many people voted vise what should have voted?

    • Vigilant

      You’re right, Lawrence. Thomas More (16th Century) said that when you take an oath, you are holding your soul in your hands, upon peril of damnation.

      Those who take the oath now, by and large, have no souls to hold in their hands because they’ve sold them to Satan (figuratively speaking).

      • Trisha

        Considering the conditions in the world I am not convinced the politicians have sold their souls just “figuratively speaking” to Satan. The forces trying to destroy our nation and enslave us all have invaded and taken control of every facet of our society (schools, Churches,government)leading the purposely uneducated, brainwashed (thus ignorant) American public down the path to hell. They know if they can take the US down they will have the whole world under their dominion. They don’t care how many millions die by starvation, war or anything else–in fact, they have a history of inflicting conditions leading to the death of millions just to promote their agenda. Does anybody want to hypothesize what the condition of the human race will be if they are totally successful? For me, Dante’s inferno comes to mind and anyone purposely furthering that possibility is purely evil.

  • Peter T Hawk

    As a Canadian watching you folks to our south it is like living upstairs from a meth lab wondering when the folks in charge will do the inevitable and take us all out. You have one hope and that is Ron Paul. All of us share an immediate threat which is a clear and present danger and that is economic terrorism and that has already been sanctioned from within your own government on all of us by Fed policy to the point where the banksters now run our economy and our lives and have run the situation into the ground. How’s all that hopey changy thing been working for yas. You appear to all be prisoners in your own country.

    • JC

      Peter, you’re point is well made and not lost on us.
      However, I invite you to scrutinize the Harper Government’s Omnibus Crime Bill. It bears an eerie resemblance to the (non) Patriot Act.
      And you might want to check out the 50 or so, ready to go, FEMA like camps in your own north country.
      Canadians have much to fear as well.

  • Vigilant

    So if anyone says, “drill baby, drill” that shows up in the crosshairs (probably another flag word) of the DHS voyeurs.

    Given the statist nature of DHS, I wouldn’t be surprised if words like “freedom,” “liberty,” “Constitution,” and “limited government” are on their list of “suspicious” utterings.

    Everyone on Facebook (I quit some time ago) should pepper their postings with these buzz words just to overload the system.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that this site is monitored as well. I can think of a few leftist idiots on this site who may be plants and provocateurs whose sole reason for being here is to inflame passions to the point of gathering responses that use the buzz words.

    jopa, denniso, NC and a few others come to mind.

    • Vigilant

      Forgot to add Doc Sarvis.

  • jopa

    Vigilant;So jopa is a buzz word and like a honey bee I was able to in flame your passion.Sorry you are not my type.Anyway back to the topic.I would be willing to bet this site is being monitored as Howard Stern was for years.There is so much talk about assassinations and overthrowing our government you would have to be a fool to think otherwise.I have seen during the Reagan administration an acquaintance of mine being hauled off to DC for saying a lot less than what is being said here.Maybe that is why every now and then a poster disappears from this site.

    • Vigilant

      “So jopa is a buzz word?” Take a reading comprehension course, fool.

      “Maybe that is why every now and then a poster disappears from this site.” Didn’t know you were a conspiracy theorist…that’s a new one.

      • Raggs

        Thats the YE-OLE-scare tatic used by the left, you know.. Deny the truth and make threats…

  • ph

    @ Vigilant…don’t forget Eddie47 too

    • Vigilant


      It crossed my mind, but I have a strong hunch that eddie, Karolyn and even Robert Smith are simply misguided but well-intentioned people. If RS could get off his anti-religion horse and eddie could just rein in the pro-union emotions sometimes, their postings seem to have value when they touch on some subjects. On the other hand, Karolyn, she who admits that she admires Saul Alinsky, is a waif in need of some proper education and a wider weorld view.

      • Vigilant

        Make that “world” view.

      • Karolyn

        Vigilant – I certainly do not consider myself a “waif.” Regarding Alinsky: Until reading about him here, I really knew hardly anything about the man. A lot of what I read about him the other day did not sound so bad.

        • Raggs

          A weak mind that is in the need of guide.

        • Raggs

          Oh did I mention.. that you are a liar!

        • Vigilant

          Karolyn, no offense was intended in my usage of the term “waif.” It was employed figuratively to indicate someone who has lost their way. I believe the more you learn about history, economics and politics, the better your chances of “finding your way home” to a proper understanding of the Conservative viewpoint.

  • Raggs

    I keep telling yopu people that the FEMA camps will soon be in use across America for those of us that disagree with the HNIC.

  • Ol504Troop

    One more reason to vote for Ron Paul

  • Richard Carroll

    Drill Baby Drill. Send back all Illegal immigrants to their own countries.

  • P martin

    If they want me, they can come and get me. I for one am for deporting ALL illegal s back to their country of origin. That is
    including their extended families who have never become citiaens.
    They do not assimilate into our country by learning our language, but
    continue to use their native language, especially in public places.
    I for one do not know whether they are cursing me or actually just
    making conversation between themselves. This is America. We offer
    a way to immigrate into our country and those who cross the border
    illegally do not deserve to be here. SEND THEM AND THEIRS BACK. At
    least until they pay the price, learn understandable English and have
    earned the right to be here.

  • americanfreedom70

    Anyone who believes that we are not monitored on almost every level is naive. I have never had a Facebook or Titter account as I knew something I said would be offensive to someone. I do it quite frequently in person either knowingly or not. It will probably be my postings on news articles, or my emails to my elected officials that gets me in trouble! So be it. I have always rooted for the underdog, whom in this case is the ideals of independance and freedom. I also believe: a “Patriot” that sits idle while “tyrants” rule is just as bad as the “sheeple” at large.
    “If you don’t vote, don’t bitch”
    Keep your powder dry. Peace

  • Dave

    And i’m thinking that at the end of the election the goverment is expecting a rebellion against how the vote turns out.These people will be proclaim terrorist and locked up in these FEMA camps.And how that the President can lockup americans without due process for as long as he likes?Well I guess we will see.

  • Trisha

    All the posters here appear to have a better understanding of what is happening than the average citizen–and all have valid points to make. So, are you involved with other groups actually doing something about the situation of just making your opinions known to one another and (hopefully) your representatives. Why don’t you join forces together (Like join the JBS, Freedomworks, NRA etc.) and put your money/energy where your opinion/beliefs can make a difference. Remember, only 1% of the population was estimated to be actively involved in the communist forces that took over China–the populace, if they’d known what was coming could have easily reversed things. Same here. The average American is either asleep, or has been brainwashed. We can wake them up and help to educate them–not with guns, but by setting good examples of what free people can do when they work together–and, showing them how to live and care for our fellow man without the forces of government. We may not be able to stop the financial collapse they have been working so hard to thrust upon the world, but we can join forces to protect one another and support one another through the hard times while we work to restore our nation back to the way our Founder’s intended. For ourselves and our children I pray we are up to the tasks at hand.

    • ChristyK

      The NRA no longer represents freedom or even truly gun rights. They are in it for the power at this point. If you want to support your 2nd amendment rights, join the National Gunowners, or their local affiliates, not the NRA.

  • Gringo Infidel

    Saying they are doing it does not indicate how ineffective they are in doing it. ;-)

    What do you expect from the lowest bidders? Innovation comes from motivation.

    They cannot even protect key systems from foreign espionage, how will they effectively monitor ‘social networks?’

    Yeah, good luck with that effort.


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