We all know about using keywords to help Google find our websites and blogs, right? Well, it seems that the agency charged with protecting us from terrorists uses keywords, too. They use them to help them identify potential terrorist threats.
Some of the keywords that their computers and analysts search for on social media networks surprised me. I have family in Tucson — and to visit them, I drive through El Paso. So I was surprised to see the names of both cities on the watch list along with many other common place names and words.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act Request, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a list of several hundred keywords that can trigger an investigation. The Daily Mail published the entire list here.
How often have you used these common place names, comments on the weather, or ordinary business terms?
I think that I have used every single one of these words in social media over the last few years. Bet you’ve used more than a few, too. Of course, DHS says that it’s searching for “context”, and “patterns”, not single words.
Here’s my list of the most surprising words on the DHS watch list — did any others stand out for you?