List of Words Homeland Security Tracks on Facebook and Twitter


Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
All Gov
March 5, 2012

If not getting enough attention in your life is a problem, there’s one surefire way to get the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to notice you: Use any of its proscribed watch words on social media sites.

According to a DHS document, the agency is maintaining a lengthy list of “Items of Interest”—in other words, words. The words are categorized by subject, such as those falling under “Domestic Security,” “Southwest Border Violence,” “Health Concern + H1N1,” “Terrorism” and more.

Besides the obvious ones like “Al Qaeda (all spellings),” “weapons cache,” “meth lab” and “jihad,” the words being monitored on Facebook and Twitter include:

·       airport
·       sick
·       gas
·       cloud
·       mud slide or mudslide
·       canceled
·       interstate
·       recovery
·       home grown
·       marijuana
·       incident
·       police
·       infection
·       symptoms
·       North Korea
·       China
·       Tucson
·       San Diego
·       pork
·       help
and, of course,
·       social media

To Learn More:
The Department of Homeland Security Is Searching Your Facebook and Twitter for These Words (by Joel Johnson, Animal New York)
Analyst’s Desktop Binder (Department of Homeland Security) (pdf)

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