March 22, 2012 / by emptywheel


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.

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