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.