Hate TSA Body Scans? Homeland Security Is Monitoring More Than You Realize

Body ScansLisa Rab writes on the Broward-Palm Beach New Times:

If you thought intrusive body scans and airport pat downs were just a fluke in the War on Terror bureaucracy, fear not: The Department of Homeland Security has plenty of other programs that will make your skin crawl.

For instance, Big Brother is reading your tweets and Facebook status updates, searching for dangerous words and phrases such as militia, Iraq, and, ironically, body scanner.

The program is called the “Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness Initiative,” and yes, it’s as strange as it sounds. The goal is appropriately vague, “to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture for the federal government.” Hmmm.

Scroll to page 17 of this recent Homeland Security report and you’ll find an extremely lengthy list of the terms — posted on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and other social media sites — that will grab the attention of government search engines. They include:

Deaths Body Scanner • Hostage • Gangs • Incident • Police • Cloud •

Leak • Pork • Flu • Subway • Smart • Delays

According to the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting, the feds analyze the search results “before determining what tips should be distributed to other government agencies and even private companies authorized to receive such information.”

Read More in the Broward-Palm Beach New Times

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  • Untitled-01

    I think this whole TSA thing is media hype, a bunch of family members and I flew to a relatives house this Thanksgiving all from very different areas and NONE OF US had to deal with any of these TSA things that I keep on hearing about. I really couldn’t tell the difference this time around from any other time that I’ve ever flown on a plane.

  • Untitled-01

    I think this whole TSA thing is media hype, a bunch of family members and I flew to a relatives house this Thanksgiving all from very different areas and NONE OF US had to deal with any of these TSA things that I keep on hearing about. I really couldn’t tell the difference this time around from any other time that I’ve ever flown on a plane.

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      I wish that were the case…but the truth is that not all airports have upgraded to the new backscatter devices yet…and since they don’t use the backscatter they dont have to enforce the use of it with the threat of enhanced patdowns…thus…airports still using standard metal detectors are the same as they’ve all been for years…while scattered across the nation the major ports that have added backscatter tech to their arsenal are at the center of the firestorm.

      Interesting side note…when you suddenly remember that the # of places using the new techniques isn’t very large…and they’ve already racked up this many offensive encounters and abuses…the picture looks a lot darker if you imagine that on a universal, all airports scale…which is why the fus is on now to keep that from happening.

      • Bransonfun

        100% truth

      • Butter Knife

        It should also deeply concern anyone who DOES think that the body scans are legitimate, because as it currently stands they are a non-factor in the vast majority of potential attacks. The handful of international terrorists who actually are worth worrying about are all smart enough not to be foiled by one of these, especially since all it takes is being smart enough not to go through security at an airport with the new tech. Through the magic of layovers, they can get on any flight at any airport from any other airport, including those with less strenuous security.

        Of course they could also, as many critics have pointed out, just as easily wear a suicide vest to the airport, wait in line at security and detonate themselves in the middle of a crowd waiting to be intruded by government hacks just to prove they aren’t terrorists. If somebody is willing to die in the process of sowing panic and death, they are almost certain to succeed at it.

        You might notice that Israeli’s who’ve been dealing with this kind of shit on a daily basis for decades, don’t waste their time on this type of nonsense. Not that I condone everything they do in the name of counter-terrorism by a long shot, but you can’t dispute the success.

    • Haystack

      I’ve routinely had my crotch patted by TSA personnel detecting the metal in by pants zipper, and that was before they “enhanced” anything. IMHO, it was already too intrusive. I now avoid flying whenever possible.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I wish that were the case…but the truth is that not all airports have upgraded to the new backscatter devices yet…and since they don’t use the backscatter they dont have to enforce the use of it with the threat of enhanced patdowns…thus…airports still using standard metal detectors are the same as they’ve all been for years…while scattered across the nation the major ports that have added backscatter tech to their arsenal are at the center of the firestorm.

    Interesting side note…when you suddenly remember that the # of places using the new techniques isn’t very large…and they’ve already racked up this many offensive encounters and abuses…the picture looks a lot darker if you imagine that on a universal, all airports scale…which is why the fus is on now to keep that from happening.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    How much does anybody want to bet that the stated goal is empty…while the real goal of social media monitoring is to determine who may be becoming radicalized as a protester or activist and then catalogue and monitor them?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    How much does anybody want to bet that the stated goal is empty…while the real goal of social media monitoring is to determine who may be becoming radicalized as a protester or activist and then catalogue and monitor them?

    • emperorreagan

      That would certainly seem to be the goal. The list is absurdly broad and more likely to catch commentary from an average American than lead anyone to a terrorist.

    • Haystack

      I’ve a little creeped out by the way “becoming radicalized” has entered into the language–like radicals are the passive object of some species of mesmerism, and as opposed to free-thinking agents.

  • Fuckyou

    everybody should twitter the entire list to everybody they know until the governments computers crash : )

  • Fuckyou

    everybody should twitter the entire list to everybody they know until the governments computers crash : )

    • Ironaddict06

      Yea, that’s what i was thinking. Get the list to as many people as possible and post the list every day.

    • Idontknow

      If you post the list every day, it’s just gonna be one post of many which contain any one of the words on the list, and makes it searchable.

      pirates.

  • emperorreagan

    That would certainly seem to be the goal. The list is absurdly broad and more likely to catch commentary from an average American than lead anyone to a terrorist.

  • Ironaddict06

    Yea, that’s what i was thinking. Get the list to as many people as possible and post the list every day.

  • Bransonfun

    100% truth

  • Haystack

    I’ve routinely had my crotch patted by TSA personnel detecting the metal in by pants zipper, and that was before they “enhanced” anything. IMHO, it was already too intrusive. I now avoid flying whenever possible.

  • Haystack

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone; intelligence organizations have always made use of publicly available information. Choosing to live as publicly as people do when they choose to publish minute details of their lives online has the same effect as letting the police install cameras in your home.

    It’s not just the go’vt doing this, either. Corporations are using the same techniques to monitor activists, etc.

  • Haystack

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone; intelligence organizations have always made use of publicly available information. Choosing to live as publicly as people do when they choose to publish minute details of their lives online has the same effect as letting the police install cameras in your home.

    It’s not just the go’vt doing this, either. Corporations are using the same techniques to monitor activists, etc.

  • Haystack

    I’ve a little creeped out by the way “becoming radicalized” has entered into the language–like radicals are the passive object of some species of mesmerism, and as opposed to free-thinking agents.

  • http://twitter.com/AbolishtheTSA The Abolitionist

    Knowledge makes you an extremist. If you find yourself in the mainstream of thought you are ignorant. At least relatively so.

    Sign the petition to abolish the TSA: http://abolishthetsa.net/sign-the-petition/

  • http://twitter.com/AbolishtheTSA The Abolitionist

    Knowledge makes you an extremist. If you find yourself in the mainstream of thought you are ignorant. At least relatively so.

    Sign the petition to abolish the TSA: http://abolishthetsa.net/sign-the-petition/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Vernon/555410388 Matt Vernon

    How long before they add “pre-” to the word terrorist? We already have PREemptive wars and PREventative measures for security. Here comes the rush… It’s already struck in France, which is where I got the previous idea: http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/85/coming_insurrection.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Vernon/555410388 Matt Vernon

    How long before they add “pre-” to the word terrorist? We already have PREemptive wars and PREventative measures for security. Here comes the rush… It’s already struck in France, which is where I got the previous idea: http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/85/coming_insurrection.html

  • Rob

    Deaths Body Scanner • Hostage • Gangs • Incident • Police • Cloud •

    Leak • Pork • Flu • Subway • Smart • Delays

    Might as well start right now. I’ll be putting that in as header on all my web docs from now on.

  • Rob

    Deaths Body Scanner • Hostage • Gangs • Incident • Police • Cloud •

    Leak • Pork • Flu • Subway • Smart • Delays

    Might as well start right now. I’ll be putting that in as header on all my web docs from now on.

  • Idontknow

    If you post the list every day, it’s just gonna be one post of many which contain any one of the words on the list, and makes it searchable.

    pirates.

  • Peanuts

    All the TSA stuff is a smoke screen for something else, some other amendment or clause to something will be going down, this stupid stuff keeps the media off their back while they undermine more serious liberties!

  • Peanuts

    All the TSA stuff is a smoke screen for something else, some other amendment or clause to something will be going down, this stupid stuff keeps the media off their back while they undermine more serious liberties!

  • Butter Knife

    It should also deeply concern anyone who DOES think that the body scans are legitimate, because as it currently stands they are a non-factor in the vast majority of potential attacks. The handful of international terrorists who actually are worth worrying about are all smart enough not to be foiled by one of these, especially since all it takes is being smart enough not to go through security at an airport with the new tech. Through the magic of layovers, they can get on any flight at any airport from any other airport, including those with less strenuous security.

    Of course they could also, as many critics have pointed out, just as easily wear a suicide vest to the airport, wait in line at security and detonate themselves in the middle of a crowd waiting to be intruded by government hacks just to prove they aren’t terrorists. If somebody is willing to die in the process of sowing panic and death, they are almost certain to succeed at it.

    You might notice that Israeli’s who’ve been dealing with this kind of shit on a daily basis for decades, don’t waste their time on this type of nonsense. Not that I condone everything they do in the name of counter-terrorism by a long shot, but you can’t dispute the success.