Throwing Up The Kirk Signal: Dhs List Of Keywords Used To Monitor Social Networking Sites

BIV

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Dept. of Homeland Security Forced to Release List of Keywords Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites


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If you are thinking about tweeting about clouds, pork, exercise or even Mexico, think again. Doing so may result in a closer look by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
In a story appearing earlier today on the U.K’s Daily Mail website, it was reported that the DHS has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor various social networking sites. The list provides a glimpse into what DHS describes as “signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.”

The list was posted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act, before suing to obtain the release of the documents. The documents were part of the department’s 2011 ’Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.
The information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats. The Daily Mail’s article noted the Electronic Privacy Information Center wrote a letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, describing it’s choice of words as ‘broad, vague and ambiguous’.
What wasn’t disclosed is how the agency actually gains access to the various search engines and social networks to monitor the specified keywords. My guess is the DHS has a “special arrangement” with companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Twitter to gain secure direct API access. This type of access would allow it to use distributed cloud technologies to monitor the daily flow of social media and search activity in something close to real time.
I would love to learn more about the technologies used to accomplish this type of social / web monitoring. The applications for monitoring trends and social statics are fascinating when applied to other industry sectors. Given the extent of the monitoring, I’m sure this post itself is now coming up on the DHS radar, so please feel free to leave a comment with any insights.
(Update 1: Reading through the Desktop Binder, I discovered the DHS Twitter account is @dhsnocmmc1 and DHS appears to be using tweetdeck to monitor the various keywords. See Page 38 – Also interesting to note they seem to be using a Mac Mini as a server, and no password vaults. All Passwords appear to be shared in a plain text word document.)
(Update 2: On page 37, DHS instructs analysts to accept invalid SSL certificates forever without verification. Although invalid SSL warnings often appear in benign situations, they can also signal a man-in-the-middle attack. Not a good practice for the security conscience. Thanks to @obra on twitter for the tip.)


 

Mags

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Pork pork pork pork

Pork pork pork pork
 

Bluestreak

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#5
Can anyone create a completely grammatically correct sentence from that list?
Please?
 

Creasy Bear

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North Korea human to human gas evacuation incident.
 

LiddyRules

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#12
Didn't we do this story before?
 

Graveyard

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#13
This is old news, but I am angered at tax dollars being wasted on shit like this. There's nothing interesting at all on sites like facebook and twiiter, and they'll never catch any real criminals that way.
 

mascan42

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#15
This is old news, but I am angered at tax dollars being wasted on shit like this. There's nothing interesting at all on sites like facebook and twiiter, and they'll never catch any real criminals that way.
Somehow I doubt that terrorists are actually tweeting about terrorist shit. "OMG check out this test of my homemade dirty bomb!!1!one! youtu.be/fuckingbullshit"
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
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#17
Yeah, well, this story came out yesterday....so eat my shit.
 

LiddyRules

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#18
This is old news, but I am angered at tax dollars being wasted on shit like this. There's nothing interesting at all on sites like facebook and twiiter, and they'll never catch any real criminals that way.
So twitter has never been used to organized let's call them, non-Judeo-Christian people?
 

KRSOne

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#19
Yeah, well, this story came out yesterday....so eat my shit.
Thanks for pointing out that when I post something a year ago its a crazy conspiracy theory and its not really happening. When its admitted, the trendies all of a sudden believe it and say how its a great thing. We already knew this when they kidnapped Marine vet Brandon Raub and put him in a mental hospital because of his "free" speech.
 

LiddyRules

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Thanks for pointing out that when I post something a year ago its a crazy conspiracy theory and its not really happening. When its admitted, the trendies all of a sudden believe it and say how its a great thing. We already knew this when they kidnapped Marine vet Brandon Raub and put him in a mental hospital because of his "free" speech.
I don't think anyone ever doubted that DHS was monitoring social networks. And who has said it was a great thing? And for the love of God, Brandon Raub is on Partners, it's a CBS show. It's terrible, but he's doing fine.
 

KRSOne

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#21
I don't think anyone ever doubted that DHS was monitoring social networks. And who has said it was a great thing? And for the love of God, Brandon Raub is on Partners, it's a CBS show. It's terrible, but he's doing fine.
Anyone who votes for Obama is supporting everything his administration is doing. So if he gets o% of the vote, I will agree you are right.
 

LiddyRules

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#22
Anyone who votes for Obama is supporting everything his administration is doing.
What does that have to do with my post?

Oh the "great thing." A) Just because you agree with something doesn't mean you think it's a great thing. B) No matter who you vote for, this would be going on. Same with Romney. And, let's be honest, same with Paul.
 

KRSOne

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What does that have to do with my post?

Oh the "great thing." A) Just because you agree with something doesn't mean you think it's a great thing. B) No matter who you vote for, this would be going on. Same with Romney. And, let's be honest, same with Paul.
You said no one thinks its a great thing, try and keep up, sparky.
 

LiddyRules

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#24
You said no one thinks its a great thing, try and keep up, sparky.
Also Kirk, you said trendies think it's a great thing. Since you accuse everyone on this board of being a trendy, and since most of this board probably isn't voting for Obama, where have we expressed our beliefs that DHS monitoring is a great thing? I'm sorry Rob got institutionalized, but there are plenty of other guys you can swoon over.
 

KRSOne

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#25
Also Kirk, you said trendies think it's a great thing. Since you accuse everyone on this board of being a trendy, and since most of this board probably isn't voting for Obama, where have we expressed our beliefs that DHS monitoring is a great thing? I'm sorry Rob got institutionalized, but there are plenty of other guys you can swoon over.
There are trendies on the left and the right, just look at the drone thread with all the trendies rejoicing over deaths of people who did nothing.