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The Key Words the Government Monitors Online

Posted on Feb 25, 2012
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A government manual obtained by a privacy watchdog group reveals that the Department of Homeland Security has compiled a list of hundreds of key words used to detect possible terrorist and other threats on social media sites. —ARK

The Huffington Post:

The 39-page “Analyst’s Desktop Binder” used by the department’s National Operations Center includes no-brainer words like “attack,” “epidemic” and “Al Qaeda” (with various spellings). But the list also includes words that can be interpreted as either menacing or innocent depending on the context, such as “exercise,” “drill,” “wave,” “initiative,” “relief” and “organization.”

These terms and others are “broad, vague and ambiguous” and include “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,” stated the Electronic Privacy Information Center in [a] letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

The manual was released by the center a week after Homeland Security officials were grilled at a House hearing over other documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that revealed analysts were scrutinizing online comments that “reflect adversely” on the federal government. Mary Ellen Callahan, the chief privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security, and Richard Chavez, director for the National Operations Center, testified that the released documents were outdated and that social media was monitored strictly to provide situational awareness and not to police disparaging opinions about the federal government. On Friday, Homeland Security officials stuck by that testimony.

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By Maani, February 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

The “attack” on the alleged “epidemic” of “Al Qaeda” “drills” is an “exercise” in futility, since with a “wave” of his hand, the President can create an “initiative” to bring “relief” to any terrorist “organization.”


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By basho, February 28, 2012 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

seems like a good old-fashioned chain letter to all of one’s friends with a list of all the words included would be of some value here.

The relief organization(s) initiative to stem the wave of flatulence was a futile exercise.

Hey Anonymous!

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By diamond, February 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

“And shame is that if it is really investigated, we will probably all be dead.”

Maybe someone will give something to Wikileaks. Wouldn’t that be a fine old kerfuffle? They’d all be Chicken Littles then, running around screaming ‘The sky is falling. Run for your lives. Listen to us. Only we can save you’ as they lead everyone over a cliff.

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By diamond, February 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

“I’m sure more people have fallen to serial killers here in the U.S. than killed by terrorism in the timeframe you suggest.”

I remember reading somewhere that every American citizen has more chance of being hit by a car or struck by lightning, twice, than being killed in a terrorist attack. Like the War on Drugs, the War on Terror is a money making exercise based on the idea of paralyzing rational thought by the use of fear. Fear is a very powerful emotion and politicians and generals have been using it for a long time to get what they want -namely war and the power and money it generates.

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By annenigma, February 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Try using the word ‘drop’ on your Congressman’s website in the text box to send messages, as is ‘Please drop your sponsorship of HR 1505’. It blocks the message from being sent until you change it (or until you sneak it in as ‘d_r_o_p’) and even recommends alternative uncensored words to use. Try it and see for yourself. They are S I C K!

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By samosamo, February 27, 2012 at 11:17 am Link to this comment


Thanks diamond, yours and patrickhenry’s comments are most
helpful and informative. Will have to check the links on crow. I
remember Echelon from way back. I also remember when it was announced that ATT had built a huge storage center to store all or just about all the phone calls in american which may have been a part of the Echelon program. It was even depicted in a vince flynn novel indication the misuse of information to enrich the rich. Nothing like good old amerikan ingenuity to help those sociopath’s drive to elitehood. I would not hesitate to say that since the beginning of this country attempts at ferreting out enemy combatants has existed, but no where near the current way it is being done.

As I have more times than I can count said that the harm done
by NOT investigating the attack on 9/11/01 has done more
harm that is incalculable to this country’s people, while
allowing those really responsible to walk around free. And
shame is that if it is really investigated, we will probably all be

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By PatrickHenry, February 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment


I’m sure more people have fallen to serial killers here in the U.S. than killed by terrorism in the timeframe you suggest.

Terrorism is the crime of murder and should be handled by worldwide police action and court action and not military action. 

The world court is the correct forum for this, its too bad the U.S. feels different.

It just demonstrates our lawlessness in the form of American exceptionalism as touted by the current and past administrations.

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By diamond, February 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

In spite of all this lunacy, look at the facts: this is the FBI’s own list of terror attacks within America.

This table shows the terrorist incidents in the United States 1980-2005
1980   29
1981   42
1982   51
1983   31
1984   14
1985   7
1986   25
1987   9
1988   9
1989   4
1990   7
1991   5
1992   4
1993   12
1994   1
1995   1
1996   3
1997   3
1998   6
1999   11
2000   8
2001   14
2002   8
2003   6
2004   5
2005   5
Total   318 terrorist incidents

As you can see these incidents hit an all time high in the eighties and have been decreasing more or less ever since. So why do we now have a War on Terror and why are we allowing those in power to build a police state complete with drones and a surveillance apparatus that makes the Soviet Union at its worst look benevolent by comparison? There’s only one answer to that question and that answer is 9/11. The most useful thing that ever happened to those who want a police state and the destruction of the rule of the law. So useful that serious questions need to be asked and answered about that event that have never been asked or answered because there was no criminal investigation. The overall question that needs to be asked is ‘Who monitors the monitors?’ and that question is not even a gleam in Leon Panetta’s eye. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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By TAGGLINE, February 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Hup, 2,3,4…To the Fear…March!
Hup, Hup, Hup…2,3,4…

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By Blueokie, February 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

At the height of its “evil ways” the Stasi was said to be spying on one out of seven East Germans.  Today the duopoly has the NSA spying on seven out of seven of its citizens.  Amerika cannot function without fear and an enemy.  Even if the enemy is manufactured and it is us.

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By balkas, February 26, 2012 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

those, said a wise person, who control symbols, will control you and no amount of revolution would change that.
words represent symbols. so does constitution, flag, tank, gun, school, WMS, etc.
and symbols, whether a word, logo, token, evening gown at oscars stand for s’mthing—they stand for meanings.
and the meanings are inside our skins. but how they became yours is what lot of people never ever think about.
the meanings of US flag may be described as US being the greatest democracy, freest, fairest, most charitable/noble country in the world.

it is these meanings little children are imbued with. it becomes an inseparable part of them.

in actualities, US flag stands for the diktatorship and mastery of the one percent over a mass of people.
but children and adults would, of course, never be told this.
evening gown means: i am better, more deserving, smarter, more talented/educated than you; thus have earned my mansion, yacht, fleet of cars,
money, etc. and the right to tell you how to behave, of course! and you can do this, too, in this great country, you dumb, lazy, uneducated ass, if
you’d get off it and start bettering yourself.

and it is is these meanings along with truthfulness of it that a totally defenseless child imbibes and in the same manner that s/he or an adult
imbibes bad drinks or takes in bad food and thinks both are healthy and nourishing.
one way out of such slavery or capture of body-minds by voracious/avaricious hunters of people would be for parents to teach own kids that what
‘teachers’ tell them in schools is mostly lies.
internet may become a tool for liberating people. however, right now most columnists and posters on many sites totally ignore the problem and
dwell on endlessly on peripheral issues, individual and their faults, stupid utterances, show-up-and-don’t-tell shows.
so, it is always about bachmann, obama, ron paul, ventura, maher, et al and what they say! and why? because none of them say waht is most
educational or of greatest value, that it is why!

in short, we see everywhere only the ‘stars’ or propagation of the cult of the personality! can you imagine marx, lenin, churchill, de gaulle, pasteur,
planck, tesla, santayana, nitzsche listening to palin or bachmann for more than a second or two and not implode or explode? but every prez would
gladly listen to them!
bozhidar b, planet earth!

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By Cliff Carson, February 26, 2012 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Thanks for the Link PatrickHenry

Big Brother is indeed active in your everyday life and it intends to stay that way as the American people slide into the Dictatorial policies of Corporatism.

The Shadow Government, that entity that really runs our Government, the 1%, The International Financial Cabal, what ever it is you name it, this country is not run by the people. 

And some of you might remember that Bush, later endorsed by Obama, pushed a plan to seine the Internet to identify “thought patterns” of individual citizens as potential “FUTURE” enemies of the state ( disagree with the Government).  The Bush plan was to declare the authority of the President to perform a disappearance of the person for the rest of their life or possibly release them when they had been “re-educated”.  Sound familiar?

It might be good to remember those prison facilities built by a Halliburton subsidiary during the Bush years, seems I remember the capacity of them to total 20 million people. They are still there - waiting.

And keep in mind that in another Thread currently on Truthdig, about Mercenary Armies, the mention is made, by me, that I think I remember that the President has been given authority to use Drones over the skies of the United States.

That might be another way to disappear you.  Wasn’t this method used in Yemen to eliminate an American Citizen that - Our Government Words - “supported the cause of Al-Queda”, without trial?  Notice the Government didn’t say he did anything physical, they just said he supported Al-Qaeda, in words.

That get your attention?

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By A. Benway, February 26, 2012 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The claim inspires certain thoughts - for example, is there another list - a list of words that signify that an Nth transmission is irrelevant or “innocent”? For example, if an Nth transmission included words or phrases associated with bestiality, would it them be of “interest” to a machine, or would it be rejected as mere smut? So, if one were to write “horseco-k, attack at dawn” [sic] would their lordships take any interest?

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By PatrickHenry, February 26, 2012 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Its the NSA program called Echelon but expanded as only an unlimited ‘black budget’ can do.

For you posters on Truthdig there is something else.

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By thecrow, February 26, 2012 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

“exercise,” “drill”


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By diamond, February 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Oh God. How they fear words, because words can be used to tell the truth while they invariably prefer to use them to hide or re-arrange the truth.

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