Lonely? Yearning to use your IT skills for something more significant than ERP, CRM and YAWN? Something like national information security, cyberspies and counterterrorism? Something that might lead to a position with free government housing, a clothing allotment and residence in the Jimmy Buffet latitudes, in a place no Jimmy Buffet is ever played?
Ever wanted to shadow some of our nation's finest counterterrorist and cybercrime-response operatives as they work an actual case, giving you a close-up view of the floor on which the collar takes place, a special tour of federal paddy wagons, military tribunals and the famous government residential facilities located well into the Jimmy Buffet latitudes, but in an island of sobriety in which no Jimmy Buffet is ever played?
Have I got the information-security resource for you – a list of hundreds of words and phrases the Dept. of Homeland Security uses to scan social networks and media sites in a never ending quest for new customers to fill rooms at the Guantanamo Hilton.
The list is the product of an information request from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which asked DHS to provide documents describing the methods and criteria it uses to monitor potentially troublesome content on public networks.
The document, DHS' 2011 "Analyst's Desktop Binder" instructs data-sifters at the DHS National Operations Center on how identify news stories, Tweets, comments and other online content that "media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities" or seem vaguely threatening enough to set off alarm bells even in the naturally overreactive environment of a secret police force with tremendous power and little accountability.
According to a Forbes story that seems to qualify as a media report reflecting adversely on DHS or response activites," the DHS Twitter account is (or was) @dhsnocmmc1 , DHS seems to use TweetDeck to monitor some keywords, use a Mac Mini as a server and leave their passwords in plain text in a Word document rather than encrypted in a steganographic file, or even password-protected in a password vault.
The Desktop Binder itself it posted on Scribd, though parts were redacted just to mess with EPIC and all the other privacy watchdogs who believe an open government by the people is responsible to the people and should tell the people what it's doing once in a while.
The list itself is long, but only long enough to include such obvious indicators of evil intent as "target," "dirty bomb," "cyber terror," "power," "pork," "cloud" "telecommunications" and "critical infrastructure."
Not that there aren’t a lot of seriously terror- and cybercrime-related terms in there. There are plenty of those. The list is only a starting point according to the ameliorating spin issued by the DHA.
Trained operatives scan the interwebs, using these tips and topic headings to identify potential terrorists lurking among the concerned citizens who may have gone online to read about how to counter or watch for potential threats to the national critical infrastructure, situation in Ciudad Juarez, drug war against narcotics, cocaine, marijuana and Los Zetas, not to mention gunfights, service disruptions, the National Biosurveillance Integration Center and other important topics.
Whatever you do, don't copy the list below and randomly post it up online to give the whole block a thrill when DHS sends huge black SUVs filled with armed professional interrogators to find out why you might have used the word "metro" in a conversation three times during the past six months.
You'd just better be ready to answer.