Homeland Security Is Tracking 100s Of Keywords On Twitter. Are You Being Targeted?

If you tweet about the police, the flu and even social media, there’s a chance that the Department of Homeland Security is watching you. The Electronic Privacy Information Center has just released a list of hundreds of keywords the DHS is tracking on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites – how many are you tweeting?

The Electronic Privacy Information Center gained access to the list of keywords being monitored following a lawsuit filed through the Freedom of Information Act.

As Mashable reports, the DHS started social media surveillance back in February 2011. They initially wanted to stay abreast of breaking news, especially as it related to security issues, by monitoring Twitter and Facebook.

This new document shows that the DHS has since expanded its operations. There were 285 pages released along with the document from DHS, which showed that the Department had paid over $11 million to General Dynamics to provide the government with periodic reports of their Internet surveillance.

So what exactly are the keywords that set the government into high alert? We’ve got 25 keywords below – you can read the full list at AnimalNewYork.com:

  • Red Cross
  • United Nations
  • Attack
  • Recovery
  • Homeland security
  • Police
  • Threat
  • Toxic
  • Gas
  • Virus
  • Flu
  • Sick
  • Airport
  • Collapse
  • Marijuana
  • Mexican army
  • Shootout
  • Terror
  • Target
  • Tornado
  • Help
  • Relief
  • Trojan
  • China
  • Social media
  • Ironically, the DHS is monitoring Twitter, Facebook and other social networks for the term “social media”. Of course, there is no doubt some pretty sophisticated contextual data that is associated with flagging users who use these keywords, but the list is pretty broad as it is.

    So do you think these keywords are a fair representation of possible threats on social networks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

    (Monitor image via Shutterstock)