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What The DHS Is Looking For In Your Posts

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the extreme-militia-rand-somalia-cheney-aid-missles dept.

Network 278

New submitter lister king of smeg writes "As we all know The Department of Homeland Security monitors social networks,in an attempt to expose 'Items Of Interest.' As it turns out many terms including seemingly benign words such as flu, agent, response, cops drill, etc are on the list of words that set off warning bells for the government spooks. Many of the terms make sense ..., but there are some real stupid ones on the list to like 'social network' ... [according to a] list of key words provided to a DHS contractor that were released by EPIC."

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278 comments

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Great, now the terrorists are controlling nature (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196853)

Hurricane, Tornado, Twister, Tsunami, Earthquake, Tremor, Flood

Are they trying to catch real-world terrorists or Lex Luthor?

I guess at least we should be happy that "Dissent", "Protest", "Occupy", "Tea party", and "Third Party" aren't on there...well, not yet anyway.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (5, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196955)

Hurricane, Tornado, Twister, Tsunami, Earthquake, Tremor, Flood

Are they trying to catch real-world terrorists or Lex Luthor?

Well, Homeland security also encompasses the Federal Emergency Management Agency, so they do have some real interest in getting the news fast if there is a natural disaster going on. It turns out that the twitter feeds actually do spread news of natural disasters faster than watching CNN.

(...and, for that matter, if Lex Luthor is up to tricks, shouldn't they want to catch him?)

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197013)

They would need Clark Kents alter ego to catch Lex Luthor...

Attention DHS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197039)

Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterfuck of a miserable failure.

Re:Attention DHS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197603)

much like your posting

Kiddie porn (5, Funny)

kdawson (3715) (1344097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197079)

I am going to blow up NYC by using terror, social networking, and flu. Agent orange is my favorite mixed drink.

RADIOACTIVE AGRO TERROR!!!!!!!!!twelve131313

Better yet, I had to get my kids inoculated with TAMIFLU and now can't afford to contribute to this year's IRA. I went to the TARGET last night in SAN DIEGO and had a conversation with a SMART cashier. She told me that she was an AGRICULTURE major before moving from EL PASO but decided that GAS was too expensive for that.

WOOT! [epic.org]

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (2, Funny)

Tar-Alcarin (1325441) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197147)

Obligatory: http://xkcd.com/723/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (1, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197179)

Well, Homeland security also encompasses the Federal Emergency Management Agency, so they do have some real interest in getting the news fast if there is a natural disaster going on.

In that case, they should also watch for "aliens", "alien-human hybrids", "black oil", and "colonization".

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197659)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we have systems designed to monitor weather, flooding, seismic activity, volcanism and so on? If they're finding out about natural disasters from social networks, that's beyond pathetic.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (4, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196973)

Are they trying to catch real-world terrorists or Lex Luthor?

They are trying to catch you, the citizen, organizing to reform [juancole.com] the financial elites that have ruined our economy and control our/their politicians.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (4, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196991)

... Tornado, Twister, Tsunami, ...

Are they trying to catch real-world terrorists or Lex Luthor?

They're looking for the coed naked twister parties. I haven't seen a t-shirt or hat with that phrase in probably 20 years...

Seriously though I hope they whitelist weather.gov or else a lot of mostly harmless meteorologists will pay the ultimate price in america's war on civil liberties err I mean terror.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197027)

It reads :

A list of words that set off warning bells for the government spooks.

Funny choice of words ?
What about government officials who are not spooks ?

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (3, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197081)

Hurricane, Tornado, Twister, Tsunami, Earthquake, Tremor, Flood

Are they trying to catch real-world terrorists or Lex Luthor?

They're looking for music pirates! Its a RIAA front! Beware!

Rock you like a Huricaaaaane... (a little over played, but good)

Pantera_Floods.mp3 (pretty good)

"Texas Tornado" by Bobby Braddock (note I spec'd music pirates, not "good music" pirates)

Earthquake by lil wayne (see above note x10)

I need some help w/ the rest...

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197435)

Tremor and Twister could be a partnership with the MPAA.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197169)

Hurricane, Tornado, Twister, Tsunami, Earthquake, Tremor, Flood

Are they trying to catch real-world terrorists or Lex Luthor?

Considering that any person considering illegal action that has had at least a modicum of training (which is fairly easily found by simple going to the right websites/forums) would never use terms such as these openly in social networks, I doubt that would ever even happen. One of the first things they would learn would be operational security, ie code-words and code phrases. I highly doubt DHS seriously expects that this will help them identify anyone. More than likely they see it as a way to track general trends, which would explain the inclusion of weather terms. As a poster below me mentioned, FEMA comes under the purview of DHS, so coupling search terms like this with location data can give data on path, damage levels, infection rates/patterns (in the case of "flu"). This is far more than a simple Big Brother-esque surveillance program as the summary is trying to lead people to believe. It has plenty of scientific, beneficial uses as well.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (2)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197637)

It has plenty of scientific, beneficial uses as well.

Most things do, but that doesn't mean its used that way and if you trust the Federal Government to not expand its use, then you are living in a dream world.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (5, Insightful)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197233)

Are they trying to catch real-world terrorists or Lex Luthor?

Neither. Who the fuck are you kidding, other than yourself? What terrorist would talk in plain text on social networks about serious stuff? I'd be surprised if they're even into mail and cell phones a whole lot. I mean, the ones that actually end up doing stuff -- surely not the American population, which might after all wake up to how badly it's being shafted, and which is the main target of this. The only threat the terrorists face is the tax payers saying "nah, let's pay for something else, schools maybe". So they come up with stuff like this. And hey, it's not like you have any way of knowing what they're actually searching for, that won't be declassified for 50 years, if ever. This is just something to tell people "they're watching", and the more shallow the discussion about it is, the better.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197405)

THIS. Modded the fuck up. I advise others to do the same.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (4, Insightful)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197715)

What terrorist would talk in plain text on social networks about serious stuff?

The kind the DHS wants us to believe actually exist.

Re:Great, now the terrorists are controlling natur (5, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197355)

I think we should find out all the words that they're monitoring, and organize a movement to have everyone slip them all into their facebook/twitter posts.

Hey everyone! I just dropped a dirty bomb in the toilet. So stinky!

or

I'm going to really attack the gym today, do some exercise drills. It'll be an explosion of activity!

or

Molly, I really loved seeing you tonight. Happy Birthday! Chemical weapons.

Slashdotters are safe for now (3, Insightful)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196909)

The word "troll" is not yet a "terr'rist term".

Re:Slashdotters are safe for now (5, Funny)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197107)

I particularly like this part:

DDOS (Dedicated Denial of Service)

Re:Slashdotters are safe for now (2)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197413)

I particularly like this part:

DDOS (Dedicated Denial of Service)

What ?!?! No MSDOS????!?
 
/ducks

Re:Slashdotters are safe for now (1)

msheekhah (903443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197705)

I didn't know anon was so dedicated! I thought they were distributed... ;-)

Not so fast (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197117)

The word "troll" is not yet a "terr'rist term".

No but "Airplane (and derivatives)" are which puts many on Slashdot in danger. Apparently integrals are fine though. Interestingly us brits also apparently get away with our aeroplanes which is undoubtedly where "airplane" was itself derived from.

Re:Not so fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197367)

I prefer the term "air cars" myself.

Re:Not so fast (2)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197527)

Car? They're more like a boat. They have a captain and life preservers, have a branch of the millitary dedicated to them, move by pushing a fluid. They're "Air Boats".

Re:Not so fast (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197597)

Air breathing rockets with really big fins.

So... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196923)

...how long until someone writes a mail-editing packet filter and sets it up in a few really large hub nodes? :)

Oh c'mon those guys know what they're doing.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39196957)

Oh man what a travesty the US has become.
If I open a page on facebook to talk about the Butlerian Jihad or make a page for fans of the BJ are the black men going to kidnap and water torture me in an attempt to find out the terrorist cell I belong to ? Lol, lol, lol.

Re:Oh c'mon those guys know what they're doing.... (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197157)

Good job men. You just triggered all those alerts. Now prepare to be tortured for being a terrorist and a member of Al Quaida who resides in Nigeria with your Nuclear family...

Examples (4, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196959)

Of the 4 examples in this post, "flu", "agent", and "cops drill" aren't inappropriate things to monitor (if it's appropriate to monitor at all, which is another story). "Flu" tracking is important for epidemics. Discussions of the location of cops and agents seems to make sense too. Again, I think it's silly they're trying to monitor social networks to this level, but if they're going to do it those aren't the worst keywords.

Also, I guess now I'm going to be tracked for discussing the keywords. How very meta.

Re:Examples (3, Funny)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196995)

Is it too late to start calling them the DeHStapo?

Re:Examples (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197053)

Yes, since January 20, 2009...

Re:Examples (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197089)

"Flu" tracking is important for epidemics.

And the DHS has what business of doing that, exactly?

Again, I think it's silly they're trying to monitor social networks to this level, but if they're going to do it those aren't the worst keywords.

"social networks" -- ?? Come on, that's just silly. They might as well save everybody some time and come right out and track "*", cuz that's what they're after. Anyone remember "Total Information Awareness"? Did you *really* think that *actually* died? Sure.

Re:Examples (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197109)

They're only useful if they don't provide too many false positives. If you get fifty thousand pages talking about someone having the flu or mail transport agents, the real threats are going to be buried.

Plus, mere keyword checking breeds a set of newer, stupider DHS agents who miss the whole "intelligence" part of intelligence, and are likely to detain someone who has tweeted that they're going to party and destroy L.A.
Somebody set up us the bomb.

Re:Examples (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197727)

Somebody set up us the bomb.

For great justice.

Re:Examples (4, Insightful)

Sedennial (182739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197339)

Not necessarily. The keyword list published probably is only the trigger key links. If you also started talking about 'social media' in the context of 'covert channel' you can bet that social media would raise a red flag.

Many of the algorithms used (especially some implementations of Bayesian filters) for this type of scoring are more than capable of correctly (or almost always correctly) identifying and excluding 'trolling'. You look for patterns of recurring words or linked words or synonymic links (aka if 'anthrax' is in my list, also look for '((bacterial OR viral)+agent)'. You look for deltas in the frequency of occurrence with persistence. Couple that with dynamic weighting based on local/national/global new events. So if you suddenly start using the words 'anthrax', 'cities', and 'target' when there isn't anything like that going on, and your conversation persists, that will get a high score. If every 17 days you post a tweet that contains a city name, a time, and a "random" dictionary word (aka a one-time crypto pad), that will probably score much higher than your talking about anthrax right after someone sends a bunch of letters with white powder around the country. IThe sophistication of the language context analysis software that is in existence is way past anything that most people realize.

Re:Examples (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197683)

ITs amazing that you think this is OK.

Interesting. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39196961)

I don't see anything that would flag for a white Christian "America First" group that meets during their prayer group and who would want string able bodied men for their Godly conversion of America and who would preserve an unborn human life at all costs.

Yes, I alluding to white supremacists and radical pro-life groups that resort to bombings and doctor assassinations.

So, if I were an Islamist terrorist, I would pose as a Christian white supremacy group and get away with it?

Re:Interesting. (3, Insightful)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197153)

I don't see anything that would flag for a white Christian "America First" group

Why would a bunch of Nazis monitor a bunch of Nazis?

Yes, I alluding to white supremacists and radical pro-life groups that resort to bombings and doctor assassinations.

Which in turn increases the pretext for ramping up security? Again why would anyone in power monitor that, other than to know where to send cheques? It's not like the people who run the country perform abortions, or give a flying fuck about those who do. And religious turmoil is always good, that is the perfect distract from anything and everything that matters.

Yeah, I'm being cranky. So what. Also, Lenny will perform the Green Cheese at the Saturday Lane with a scooter full of bobcats and two, at 72 north hotel sigma poopyhead alpha.

Re:Interesting. (1)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197475)

Undoing an incorrect mod

Free GPS receiver! (5, Funny)

vikisonline (1917814) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196971)

And I found a cool way to get a free gps receiver!
Just post the following words on your blog:
allah akbar, jihad!, white, house, flu, anthrax, bomb, airplane!, pope, my brothers!, 70 virgins, hail mary

Re:Free GPS receiver! (2)

kryliss (72493) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197099)

It's 72 virgins you insensitive clod!

- Akmad

Re:Free GPS receiver! (4, Funny)

acariquara (753971) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197181)

It's 72 virgins you insensitive clod!

- Akmad

Not after I'm done with them.

Re:Free GPS receiver! (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197385)

Only two?

May I interest you in some Viagra?

Re:Free GPS receiver! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197661)

Nope... but you can go get me a sandwich.

Re:Free GPS receiver! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197485)

Giggity

Responding to your sig (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197267)

Off topic I know, but in fact there is more evidence for the existence of Superman. His existence is documented in a variety of media. The descriptions are almost entirely consistent with one another. There is the same amount of physical evidence of his miracles (i.e. zilch). In both cases the suspension of the laws of physics and chemistry have to be postulated to believe the writings. If I were an Abrahamic religious fundamentalist, I would be trying to destroy all the evidence for Superman, because while it exists it is too easy to produce a counter-argument to the principle of evidence from sacred books.

Re:Responding to your sig (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197521)

You wrote:
>The descriptions are almost entirely consistent with one another.

Dude, how are you glossing over John Byrne's run and the whole ``Superman as solar battery'' thing?

Re:Free GPS receiver! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197333)

They're all accounted for; vikisonline just likes to keep his virgins in raid 6.

Re:Free GPS receiver! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197397)

Too many martyrs, not enough virgins to go 'round!

Re:Free GPS receiver! (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197353)

Would it work for a free trip to the US too? Never been there and a flight for this probably bypasses the regular airport security.

Booking details...

Terrorism Al Queda Terror Attack Iraq Afghanistan Iran Pakistan Agro Environmental terrorist Eco terrorism Conventional weapon Target Weapons grade Dirty bomb Enriched Nuclear Chemical weapon Biological weapon Ammonium nitrate Improvised explosive device IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Abu Sayyaf Hamas FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces Colombia) IRA (Irish Republican Army) ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) Basque Separatists Hezbollah Tamil Tiger PLF (Palestine Liberation Front) PLO (Palestine Libration Organization) Car bomb Jihad Taliban Weapons cache Suicide bomber Suicide attack Suspicious substance AQAP (Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula) AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) Yemen Pirates Extremism Somalia Nigeria Radicals Al-Shabaab Home grown Plot Nationalist Recruitment Fundamentalism Islamist

Re:Free GPS receiver! (1)

SirBitBucket (1292924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197751)

More like a free trip to Gitmo...

since 9/11 (5, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39196987)

i have noticed the government gotten more & more drunk and insane with their control & power, and it is steadily getting worse, my only question is how tyrannical will they get before the citizens of this nation wake up and turn on them...

Re:since 9/11 (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197095)

Not till they shut off dancing with the stars, hillbilly hand fishin, and monday night football.

Re:since 9/11 (5, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197407)

hillbilly hand fishin.

That's... that's not a real show, is it?

-googles-

Mother of God... it is.

Re:since 9/11 (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197185)

Yeah, we'll get on that right after we finish playing Skyrim. And watching TV. And playing Angry Birds.

Well, tomorrow for sure.

Re:since 9/11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197217)

And the punchline is that he just got on the list without using a single word on the list ;)

Re:since 9/11 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197425)

Yeah. I was thinking exactly the same thing. Anyone who wanted to scribble a manifesto inciting the masses to rise up and smash the chains of capitalism, or "true patriots" and "sovereign citizens" writing screeds about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants, or anyone in between would have no problem with this list. Hell, "PBUH" isn't even on the list. That's perhaps by design: you can't really say that it's screening for legitimate (domestic) political and religious speech (you're fucked if you want to advocate Basque independence, though).

Bear in mind, though, that this list is for searching vast quantities of information at a general level; specific terms and groups like "army of god" probably have their own agents assigned to them who actively monitor both these sources (twitter, facebook) and traffic more closely tied to those terms/groups (like specialized fora, e-mail intercepts, etc). A filter like this is probably most useful for calling attention to sudden trends, and it's probably not nearly as demonic as paranoids (like me) usually think.

That's also assuming that this list is not disinformation.

I'm surprised that "Cain and Abel" made it to the list, but not "Wireshark." The Cyberfearmongering part looks ill-informed, like most of what comes out of DHS.

Re:since 9/11 (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197247)

9/11 was not the turning point you make it out to bee. Long before 9/11 the American people tolerated the government imprisoning people for asserting control over their own biochemistry. How can there be freedom left to lose when you're not even sovereign over your own body and mind?

Re:since 9/11 (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197711)

Because looking through history, we still have it better then most ever did. It sucks and I agree with you, but its not a new thing. The powers that be will always set traps for the proles to fall into.

Re:since 9/11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197285)

tyrannical

...that's a paddlin'

Re:since 9/11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197349)

i have noticed the government gotten more & more drunk and insane with their control & power, and it is steadily getting worse, my only question is how tyrannical will they get before the citizens of this nation wake up and turn on them...

Want them to wake up? Have a special DHS tax on their pay stubs. That'll get'em the streets!

Re:since 9/11 (5, Interesting)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197389)

We're stuck in a positive feedback loop now. The more the government over-reaches in the interests of security, the more pissed off the populace gets, which leads to more civil disobedience and activism, which leads to more over-reaches in the interests of security, which leads to a more pissed off populace, and so on...

The Occupy protests are just the beginning. Things are going to get much worse before they get any better. It doesn't really matter much at all who is sitting in Washington, D.C., Demican or Republicrat, the bullshit has already reached critical mass, now it's just time to wait for the meltdown.

People call me crazy, but I'm taking steps to prepare myself and my family. A few years ago I read these eye-opening blog posts [silverbearcafe.com] about the effects of the Argentinian Economic Crisis of 1999-2002 [wikipedia.org] from the point of view of a regular, college-educated, city dweller. It's scary shit. I know that if similar things were to happen to the U.S. a lot of people would be in very poor shape to deal with it. I'm not going to allow myself or my family to be victimized due to being unprepared.

Growing up I never thought things would get to even this point in this country.

Said it before (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197505)

And I'll say it again: 9/11 was the best thing that could have ever happened to the business of government.

Notice that I quite deliberately said "business".

"TO"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39196989)

"but there are some real stupid ones on the list to like 'social network'" - that's either does not parse into English or the submitter is really so fucking stupid he doesn't know the difference between "to" and "too". I'm voting for the latter.

Re:"TO"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197159)

that's either does not parse

No comment.

Re:"TO"? (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197279)

Muphry's Law [wikipedia.org] at work.

Oh, and: flu, agent, response, cops drill. Brute forcing my mudslide; WMATA?

Re:"TO"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197191)

The form of that word with the two identical vowels is on the DHS' keyword list you insensitive clod!

How long before a 411 eater style site? (1)

acariquara (753971) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197003)

Or maybe a Facebook worm that randomly injects these words in innocent posts?

Re:How long before a 419 eater style site? (1)

acariquara (753971) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197019)

s/411/419

Brainfarted.

I got it! (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197025)

I know why they are terrorist looking for those bomb seemingly nuclear innocuous words!

I think jihad maybe someone is just really sensitive to social network sites creating terror plots nerve agent. I know sometimes I plume overreact when I see something Center for Disease Control (CDC) that I don't really understand swine, and maybe we should give them a little slack Abu Sayyaf.

My new sig exceeds the 120 charicter maximum (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197047)

Terrorism Al Queda Terror Attack Iraq Afghanistan Iran Pakistan Agro Environmental terrorist Eco terrorism Conventional weapon Target Weapons grade Dirty bomb Enriched Nuclear Chemical weapon Biological weapon Ammonium nitrate Improvised explosive device IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Abu Sayyaf Hamas FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces Colombia) IRA (Irish Republican Army) ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna) Basque Separatists Hezbollah Tamil Tiger PLF (Palestine Liberation Front) PLO (Palestine Libration Organization) Car bomb Jihad Taliban Weapons cache Suicide bomber Suicide attack Suspicious substance AQAP (Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula) AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) Yemen Pirates Extremism Somalia Nigeria Radicals Al-Shabaab Home grown Plot Nationalist Recruitment Fundamentalism Islamist

Not linear (2)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197049)

They're not looking for any one of these words. They're cross-indexing usage of multiple words. If a terrorist event is about to happen and they think it's near a bridge, finding "bridge" and "social network" and "ammonium nitrate" might be a good way to identify friends of the perp...

Re:Not linear (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197183)

If a terrorist event is about to happen and they think it's near a bridge, finding "bridge" and "social network" and "ammonium nitrate" might be a good way to identify friends of the perp...

But in that case, a static list of words wouldn't help much as they would have to come up with new search terms for every event.

You've given it away now (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197313)

Terrorists will doubtless now attack tunnels using sociophobes planting explosives based on potassium chlorate.

False Positives (3, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197051)

I predict a large percentage of false positives as word of this list spreads across the social networks.

Re:False Positives (3, Interesting)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197175)

I predict that future leaks of this sort will be intentional as this one likely was, since it is the best way to fully perfect your algorithms...

Time to play with Markov chains. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197709)

Throw the words from the DHS list in with the usual spammer's algorithm to generate nonsense text.

The end result could look like it was written by a cross between Sarah Palin and Osama Bin Laden.

Re:False Positives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197241)

Just maybe the targets aren't susceptible to getting caught up in this hype? That allows a time-based filter to weed out false positives starting at the time of the leak. Notice how the list seems to be incomplete? Maybe I'm giving them too much credit...

Tempting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197077)

Goodie! New words to make sure I post all the time!

Exploser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197101)

Exploser?

For Your Consideration (1)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197111)

So, I guess we're now open to submissions/nominations for the "most innocuous post to contain all of the DHS Red Flag words" contest, right? Aside from a one-way trip to Gitmo, what can our contestants look forward to winning?

Re:For Your Consideration (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197231)

It would be too cool to have a ride in those black trucks and get interviewed by those CIA ghosts! At least, it would prove that what we see in the movies is not just an urban legend, and I don't think they would really do much against someone who just posted some crap on Slashdot just to make fun of those silly security measures...

Way back when... (1)

apcullen (2504324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197121)

I remember when I first stared using email and newsgroups there were several email signatures -- I think they were automatically and randomly generated, with a bunch of terrorist-style keywords and phrases followed by the words "Greetings to my friends at the NSA".

wrong citation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197273)

btw, "social network" is not on the list, as reported by the abstract. It's "social media".

DHS drone seeks advice (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197291)

Al Queda (all spellings)

What would be the regular expression for that?

Re:DHS drone seeks advice (1)

MrManny (1026106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197421)

[A-Za-z0-9 \-_]{1,}

moD dowN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197321)

These cha7len6es [goat.cx]

Routine spying (5, Insightful)

kilfarsnar (561956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197399)

Isn't it interesting that we now can take for granted that the government is spying on us? When I was a boy, one of the great things about this country, and one of the things that distinguished us from other countries, was that we didn't have to worry about that. In fact we took it for granted that the government wasn't watching what we did and listening to what we said.

Then some people flew some planes into some buildings and we all lost our collective shit. It seems everyone, from the media to politicians to businesses to defense contractors and intelligence agencies, has an interest in keeping the American people cowered in fear. And cower we do! We would never have put up with the wars and the invasions of our rights and privacy 12 years ago. But once people have the shit scared out of them, they will accept a lot of stuff they wouldn't have before. There are people know and count on this.

People, 9/11 was a one-off event. It was horrifying and disturbing, but it isn't going to happen again. In the meantime, there have been no significant terrorist attacks in this country. Sure, we've had the shoe-bomber and then the underwear-bomber (both of whom evaded security). But are those guys worth all this? There is no terrorist threat! Yes, there are those few who think violence will get them what they want, but that has always been true. There is no threat that warrants this overreaction, and shifting of the fundamental character of this country.

But now everyone is afraid, and are kept that way by the entities mentioned above, who see self-interest in our fear. They are not interested in actually protecting you (as if you needed to be protected), they are lining their pockets and building power structures. It's a shame, because it seems that at the end of the day, "the land of the free and the home of the brave" is just a line in a song.

There you go DHS (or NSA, or FBI, or CIA, or NRO), put me on your list.

Re:Routine spying (3, Insightful)

acoustix (123925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197725)

I agree 100%. The words "give me liberty or give me death" mean more now than ever.

This is what they want you to believe (3, Interesting)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197409)

Call me a conspiracy nut, but I wouldn't think that the DHS would let their wordlist get released if all they were doing was matching texts on specific terms. That is no better than a really dumb bayesian spam filter and would easily be defeated with childishly simple methods. When it comes to content filtering and semantic extraction, the science has moved way beyond such simple methods. Actually it is a very interesting research topic and I would love to have a job working with developing such models for the DHS if it wasn't for such an immoral purpose.

Likely other signals they use to extract information is the dates and times when messages are sent and from which ip addresses. Also how well written they are and what kinds of spelling and grammatical errors. Native speakers of semitic languages such as Arabic make different kinds of spelling errors than Germanic language speakers. That's just from the top of my head. My point is that government surveillance organisations aren't as dumb as the article seem to suggest.

Challenge accepted (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197445)

What's the challenge, you ask? Write a completely innocuous story using as many of the words as possible, like this:

"So I recall driving home down the interstate with a box full of Kahlua Mudslide in the trunk, but there was so much sleet that that I started sliding around a bit. But I wanted to get home so I could work on recruitment for my startup company, so I kept driving right through the blizzard. I'd grown up in cold weather, but I didn't expect a large brown animal to burst from the forest border right onto the road! Although I tried to slam on my brakes, I hit the moose and slid right into a ditch. Thanks to the erosion, my car lodged on a rock rather than falling down into the river, but even so I decided an evacuation was in order. I stepped outside, and realized if I wasn't careful I might die of exposure. So I struggled up off the side of the ditch, hoping to find some aid, and sat huddled on the side of the road, with my cell phone out of power, checking my watch to see how much longer I might have to live, when a road work gang showed up and stopped. I breathed a sigh of relief, and got into their truck, ignoring any bacteria or cold virus I might pick up in the process. The whole thing seemed almost like a plot to a soap opera or something."

(Really, NSA, I don't wish any kind of harm to the United States, I'm just proving a point)

Re:Challenge accepted (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197583)

Sorry, I will not be impressed until you reword and reformat your story so that it does this, too: http://i.imgur.com/akaAE.jpg [imgur.com]

This one should do the job (2)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#39197469)

Last night I had an incident with the critical infrastructure of my home perimeter's secure kitchen, involving powder ( white ). As outside the sleet fell on and on, it evolved into a body-liquid shootout between me and my partner. We had lots of fun.

spook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197557)

long live the EMACS meta-x spook command ... :-)

Terms are in english only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197591)

Not getting spied upon is as easy as speaking another language.

Emacs users rejoice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39197741)

We've had M-x spook in emacs for _years_. Let's all praise the paranoia and fore sight of RMS.

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