Homeland Security Releases Binder Detailing Internet Monitoring

Katie Pavlich

1/17/2013 1:30:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

The Department of Homeland Security has released their 2011 "Analysts Desktop Binder," detailing how the department has been monitoring activity on the internet and social networks. The binder includes an extensive list of key words and search terms carefully watched by analysts in multiple agencies including the Directorate for National Protection and Programs, Directorate for Science and Technology, Office of Health Affairs, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and others. Many monitored search terms are basic and used on a regular basis by every day American citizens and journalists. DHS is capable of identifying personal information through the monitoring of these terms and actively monitors media.

"Personally identifiable information on the following categories of individuals may be collected when it lends credibility to the report or facilitates coordination with federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, foreign, or international government partners," the binder states. "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."

Key terms from the binder:

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"This is a current list of terms that will be used by the National Operations Center [NOC] when monitoring social media sites to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture. As natural or manmade diasters occur, new search terms may be added," the binder says.

The binder also reveals DHS NOC monitors certain situations constantly.