With the FBI reportedly forming a new internet surveillance unit and the National Security Agency building a data center in Utah that will be able to sift through communications between private citizens, you can assume that the government can readily spy on you whenever it wants to. Another agency, Homeland Security, began its social media monitoring program a few months ago. But you don't have to worry about being included in its watch list, so long as you avoid using any word found in its list of keywords.
The agency was recently forced to release its list after a freedom of information request was submitted by privacy watchdog, Electronic Privacy Information Center. Some of the words like "Al Qaeda" and "Taliban" are pretty much self-explanatory. But others like "pork" and "sick" make no sense until you hear the agency's explanation about its program monitoring social networks not only for signs of terrorism, but also for public health threats and natural disasters.
Of course, if your Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking profiles are set to private, you don't have anything to worry about. And there's really no reason why you can't use these words even if you have public profiles... unless you're strongly opposed to the government keeping tabs on you. Check out the full list of words below and the full document on Scribd.
Whatever you do, don't use these words online
More from Tecca:
- Internet Security Guide: Resources to keep you safe online
- 4 high-tech ways the federal government is spying on private citizens
- Department of Homeland Security to begin social media monitoring program