Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy

List of Words that the Department of Homeland Security Looks for Online

| by Michael Allen

The Department of Homeland Security has released a list of words (below) that it uses to monitor social networking sites for possible signs of terrorist threats against the U.S.

The list was made public because of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, reports The Daily Mail.

Words such as "Al Qaeda" and "terrorism" are included, not surprisingly, but so are ambiguous words such as "Mexico" and "pork."

The full list of words (below) are part of the Department of Homeland Security 2011 'Analyst's Desktop Binder,'  which tell employees to identify "media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities."

The list was first posted online by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which states that "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."

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matthew Chandler said in a statement: "To ensure clarity, as part of ... routine compliance review, DHS will review the language contained in all materials to clearly and accurately convey the parameters and intention of the program."

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