Broward News

Hate TSA Body Scans? Homeland Security Is Also Monitoring Your Tweets

If you thought intrusive body scans and airport pat downs were just a fluke in the War on Terror bureaucracy, fear not: The Department of Homeland Security has plenty of other programs that will make your skin crawl.

For instance, Big Brother is reading your tweets and Facebook status updates, searching for dangerous words and phrases such as militia, Iraq, and, ironically, body scanner.

The program is called the "Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness Initiative," and yes, it's as strange as it sounds. The goal is appropriately vague, "to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture for the federal government." Hmmm.

Scroll to page 17 of this recent Homeland Security report and you'll find an extremely lengthy list of the terms -- posted on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and other social media sites -- that will grab the attention of government search engines. They include:

-Deaths
-Body Scanner
-Hostage
-Gangs
-Incident
-Police
-Cloud
-Leak
-Pork
-Flu
-Subway
-Smart
-Delays

According to the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting, the feds analyze the search results "before determining what tips should be distributed to other government agencies and even private companies authorized to receive such information."

Fabulous. So be careful what you tweet about this blog post. And whatever you do, don't mention body scanners.

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Lisa Rab
Contact: Lisa Rab