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Is the Department of Homeland Security Tracking You on Facebook and Twitter?

Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

When you’re tweeting or posting on Facebook, you’re probably not thinking about the  Department of Homeland Security. But as it turns out, it may very well be thinking about you.

The DHS started monitoring social media sites back in February 2011 to stay on top of breaking news — particularly stories related to matters of national security. Since then, the DHS has ramped up its efforts, paying out some $11 million to internet surveillance group General Dynamics for periodic reports.

After the Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, it obtained a list of hundreds of keywords the DHS tracks on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook — and some of them may surprise you.

Here’s are 10 keywords that make the DHS nervous (for more, check out the full report):

  • Red Cross
  • United Nations
  • Attack
  • Recovery
  • Homeland security
  • Police
  • Threat
  • Toxic
  • Gas
  • Virus


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