Homeland Security Twitter Monitoring in Action?

A month ago, EPIC liberated documents pertaining to the Department of Homeland Security’s web monitoring program, including a list of terms (starting on page 20) that DHS’ contractors search for in an effort to monitor threats. The domestic security search terms include “attack,” “shooting;” the terrorism search terms include “suicide bomber” and “suicide attack.”

This story may be an example of what happens when DHS conducts that kind of surveillance. (h/t RR) It involves Iraq War veteran Franklin Delano Jeffries, who was busted in July 2010 for posting a YouTube on July 9, 2010 in which he talking about killing a judge if he lost a custody battle over his daughter (the video was taken down the same day). He had been on probation. Until, among other things (he also failed a drug test), DHS alerted the Probation Office that Jeffries “was making Twitter entries claiming he was going to commit suicide.” Now he’s back in federal custody.

Now, I don’t mean to minimize the problem of making threats against judges, though if this guy is making suicide threats he may have more serious problems.

But I am wondering whether DHS’ monitoring program is behind Jeffries’ re-arrest.

2 replies
  1. GulfCoastPirate says:

    They should shut DHS down. What a waste of money. Here’s an idea – quit trying to colonize other countries and they won’t try to hurt you. Then you don’t need DHS.

  2. MadDog says:

    The only satisfaction one might be able to take from DHS’s monitoring of the web is that the massive quantity of “nominally” alerting search terms they’ve constructed means they are trying to drink out of a fire hose.

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