By Bucky Turco
The Department of Homeland Security monitors your updates on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, to uncover â€œItems Of Interestâ€ (IOI), according to an internal DHS document released by the EPIC. That document happens to include a list of the baseline terms for which the DHSâ€“or more specifically, a DHS subcontractor hired to monitor social networksâ€“use to generate real-time IOI reports. (Although the released PDF is generally all reader-selectable text, the list of names was curiously embedded as an image of text, preventing simple indexing. Weâ€™ve fixed that below.)
1) U.S. and foreign individuals in extremis situations involving potential life or death circumstances; (this is no change)
2) Senior U.S. and foreign government officials who make public statements or provide public updates;
3) U.S. and foreign government spokespersons who make public statements or provide public updates;
4) U.S. and foreign private sector officials and spokespersons who make public statements or provide public updates;
5) Names of anchors, newscasters, or on-scene reporters who are known or identified as reporters in their post or article or who use traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed;
6) Current and former public officials who are victims of incidents or activities related to Homeland Security; and
7) Terrorists, drug cartel leaders or other persons known to have been involved in major crimes of Homeland Security interest, (e.g., mass shooters such as those at Virginia Tech or Ft. Hood) who are killed or found dead.
In addition, the Media Monitoring Capability team can transmit personal information to the DHS National Operations Center over the phone as deemed necessary.
The MMC watch may provide the name, position, or other information considered to be PII to the NOC over the telephone when approved by the appropriate DHS OPS authority. But that information must not be stored in a database that could be searched by an individualâ€™s PII.
In addition to the following list of terms, the DHS can also add additional search terms circumstantially as deemed necessary.
DHS Monitoring Terms
2.13 Key Words & Search Terms
This is a current list of terms that will be used by the NOC when monitoring social media sites to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture. As natural or manmade disasters occur, new search terms may be added.
The new search terms will not use PII in searching for relevant
DHS & Other Agencies
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Coast Guard (USCG)
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- Border Patrol
- Secret Service (USSS)
- National Operations Center (NOC)
- Homeland Defense
- Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Task Force
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Fusion Center
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
- Secure Border Initiative (SBI)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)
- Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS)
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- Air Marshal
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- National Guard
- Red Cross
- United Nations (UN) More terms at Animal