The Department of Homeland Security has flagged hundreds of words as "suspect" – and while many make sense, like "Al Qaeda," some are just plain odd. For example, the DHS may dig through your cyber life if you write something about snow. Or pork.
So, you’ve just come back from a beach holiday in Mexico and posted about it on your blog. Or maybe you’ve tweeted about skiing lessons? Updated your status, saying you’re stuck home with food poisoning?
All those things will tweak the DHS antennae, according to a manual published by the agency. The Analyst’s Desktop Binder, used by agency employees at their National Operations Center to identify "media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities," includes hundreds of words that set off Big Brother’s silent alarms.Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. It revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organizations for comments that "reflect adversely" on the government.