How to avoid being tagged as a terrorist: Don't pay cash for coffee

Barista on Watch: FBI program distributes generic criteria as 'terrorist warning signs'


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It's difficult to figure out where you stand in the eyes of the law these days TSA, the Dept. of Homeland Security and various other security operations use a chain of super-secret, largely extralegal administrative criteria to decide who should go on the No Fly list, who should be watched as a potential terrorist, what kinds of online behavior seem hackerish and whether a desire for privacy is simply preserving one's dignity or a red flag indicating a nefarious and violent purpose.

If you're trying to keep track of either the rules or your status – or just trying to keep from being barred from the country for joking in Twitter or arrested at the airport for not wanting to decrypt your hard drive to satisfy the curiosity of a TSA agent who should be looking for contraband weapons, not data – here's the latest update.

According to a set of guidelines sent out by the FBI as part of its Communities Against Terror program, ordinary citizens need to be on the lookout for suspicious characters who follow patterns of behavior particularly indicative of a covert operative with mayhem on his or her mind.

As part of its Communities Against Terrorism" program, the FBI distributes fliers aimed at 25 different industries "purportedly highlighting typical activity of a terrorist who might frequent a shopping mall, Internet café, tattoo shop, bulk fuel distributor or other typical hangout of the Jihadist underground.

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