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Sites and Keywords Being Monitored by the DHS

From the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website is a pdf copy, published January 6, 2011, which includes the sites and keywords being watched by the Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS) and National Operations Center (NOC) in cooperation with the DHS.

Appendix A lists the “Social Media Web Sites Monitored by the NOC” and starts on page 14.

Appendix B lists the “Terms Used by the NOC When Monitoring Social Media Sites” and starts on page 19.

I was aware were being watched – I had read and heard about this for some time now.  If you didn’t, well, it is time to become aware.  Included are the popular sites of Hulu, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr (ouch, this one hurt me being a photographer), Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LA Wildfires Blog, Popular Science Blogs, Stratfor (didn’t realize they fell in the category of “Social Media”), and many many more.  Of course, they’re not monitoring every single word, sentence and post on these sites, but are looking for trends.

Many of the keywords don’t surprise me, but one sub-category did… the weather.  According to this document, the following words are “watch words”.  Is it not a typical conversation starter about the weather with someone else living elsewhere in the country, or world for that matter? Or even locally. I live in a drought-ridden area, and my friends and I are frequently commenting about the heat and lack of rain. Or when it does rain, Facebook blows up with everyone celebrating the H2O falling from the sky.  With the passing of NDAA FY 2012, now they can do more than just watch….

Weather/Disaster/Emergency Key or “Watch” Words
Extreme weather
Forest fire
Brush fire
Tsunami Warning Center
Mud slide or Mudslide
Power outage

Online pdf copy, in case you missed it in the text above, can be found HERE.


  1. one of the songs on my cd is called “cradle to grave” re this. what’s new…but it is oppressive and i think our job is to give “them” the finger whenever – and often. happy new year She. continue…

    • Ayup! I usually try to avoid terms like that, however, simply because it often chases people away. “Damn, paranoid conspiracy-theorist!” Which I most certainly am not. But if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it probably goes well with an orange sauce and/or apple stuffing when roasted (make sure to pluck first). Oh, and don’t forget a pleasantly seasoned side of long grain and wild rice.

  2. I could “compose” a completely innocent email using all these words…whatta think would happen??…might do it..for my own amusement….

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