You can thank the Electronic Privacy Information Center for forcing the Department of Homeland Security to release its list of “keywords” that are used to by its agents to monitor you on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.
The list, including phrases, reveals which words you probably want to avoid or else risk being flagged and eyeballed as a possible terrorist or someone who is otherwise posing threats to the United States. Words included such innocuous terms as: “Militia,” “exercise,” “cops,” “national security” and “facility.” Interestingly and of note, “jihad” was not included, nor were the words “Middle East,” “Arab,” “Muslim,” “terrorist” or “pressure cooker.” Perhaps those are on a different DHS red flag list?
The Electronic Privacy Information Center sued to obtain the list, but not before it had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the documents contained within DHS’ 2011 ‘Analyst’s Desktop Binder,’ which, according to a Forbes report, is “used by workers at their National Operations Center, which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities.'”
Meanwhile, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., in Silicon Valley to meet with Google, eBay and Facebook representatives last week, made his views known on civil liberties, technology and privacy, telling them, “Due process is not someone who’s an elected politician deciding whether [Americans] should die or not.”
Ironically, Al Qaeda’s newest war tactic now includes social media. Call it “digital jihad,” but again, I’m not finding that phrase on the DHS list. Why is that?
As Pamela Geller wrote at her blogsite Atlas Shrugs, “Well, you can’t say we haven’t been warned.”
Quoting from an article that appeared in the May 30 edition of MEMRI, Geller posted that for the first time, the jihadi magazine Inspire was disseminated on Twitter rather than Al-Qaeda affiliated jihadi forums. The English language magazine is produced by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
From MEMRI: “The first downloadable link was posted on a Twitter account belonging to “Muhammad Al-Shammary,” who said he had received an email with English and Arabic copies of the magazine. Al-Shammary, who uses the handle @muhammad115599 and about whom very little is known, then posted the password needed to unlock the link.”
“Most of the articles in this issue focus on the Boston Marathon bombing,” MEMRI continued. “Inspire’s publishers clearly believe that they deserve credit for providing the perpetrators with the motivation and operational know-how for the attack. More importantly, AQAP uses the current issue to incite Muslims in the West to carry out similar attacks, by emulating the Tsarnaev brothers and the Woolwich attackers. Thus, one prominent feature in the issue is a message from AQAP’s military commander, Qassem Al-Rimi, who warns the American people that such attacks will continue and that their government is unable to stop them.”
But the forums continue to flourish. The Atlantic magazine reports that almost a decade in, “Al-Qaeda’s password-protected online forums continue to remain popular. Government officials in the U.S and elsewhere have spoken out against the message boards, which are used by jihadis to converse and distribute information, saying they serve as a recruiting tool for terrorists and have been used to incite violence against the West. But some U.S. intelligence officials have argued against their removal, saying they rely on them for intelligence gathering.”
Pretty in pink, lovely in lavender
What do you suppose the Drudge Report was conveying by running this photo of President Obama screened in lavender above a headline that read, “Poll: Women still supporting O”? Could I be reading more into it than was intended? After all, Drudge has been known to make editorial statements – some none too subtle – with his choice of photos.
The image ran on May 30 referencing a Quinnipiac Poll labeled: “American Voters 4-1 Want Special Prosecutor for IRS, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; But Fixing Economy Is More Important, Voters Say 3-1”
Some social networking observers have buzzed that the most discussed political figure in the country, Hillary Clinton, is noticeably missing from Twitter, the online platform “where much of today’s political conversation takes place. … The possible frontrunner for president in 2016 has never tweeted – and the people around her are barely familiar with the medium.”
Rumored to be preparing for a run for the White House in 2016, the former New York senator and secretary of state is nowhere to be found among the blue birds that inhabit the Twittersphere. Not even a peep.
Speaking of the impact social networking has on politics, there were plenty of tweets calling attention to this billboard on the heavily traveled Interstate 75 in Ocala, Fla., home state of Sen. Marco Rubio:
If you like art, you’ll love this. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is now making it possible for you to download 125,000 high-resolution images of its masterpieces at no cost. The museum’s collection includes Rembrandt, Vermeer, Mondrian and van Gogh, and is making the images available through Rijksstudio, an interactive section on its website.
The museum staff hopes to add 40,000 images a year until the entire collection is available. Museum official said the Rijksmuseum is making the masterpiece images available because “with the Internet, it’s so difficult to control your copyright or use images that we decided we’d rather people use a very good high-resolution image of the ‘Milkmaid’ from the Rijksmuseum rather than using a very bad reproduction.”
The public is encouraged to copy and transform the artworks into T-shirts, stationery, tattoos, plates and other items limited only to your imagination.