The Department of Homeland Security has contracted with a private firm to provide aggregated information about trending topics and keywords from social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and I would assume site like Tumblr. So, if you’ve ever wanted to get on a no-fly list, here’s your chance.
A “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”
The purpose of the monitoring, says the government document, is to “collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture.” Source - Reuters
Now, they are quick to point out that they are monitoring publicly available content, however, this still means that in the course of exercising your freedom of speech rights, you may still come under scrutiny. And who knows how many relevent keywords will get you added to a list and what the lists will be used for.
This isn’t being paranoid - this is being realistic. They listen, watch, and aggregate. They compose profiles and calculate persons of interest. If you fit a profile they may watch you more closely. Maybe even use Patriot Act privileges to dig into your life.
For survivalists and preppers, there is added concern. If you insist on using cash, purchase bulk amounts of food, or express unpopular political points of view, you could already be a person of interest.
You don’t know if they are watching YOU, but they are definitely watching the generic EVERYONE.