Don't Say That! Just Don't Say It!

As the result of a Freedom of Information Act request, the US Government has released the list of words that will trigger the Department of Homeland Security to start monitoring your online contributions and conversations. The list is divided into sections by subject matter.

Figure 1. You can call it a thunderstorm, but under no circumstances should you call it “extreme weather”

I was greatly amused to find a section for words about “Weather” on the list, which contains the following terms.

Weather/Disaster/Emergency

Emergency

Hurricane

Tornado

Twister

Tsunami

Earthquake

Tremor

Flood

Storm

Crest

Temblor

Extreme weather

Forest fire

Brush fire

Ice

Stranded/Stuck

Help

Hail

Wildfire

Tsunami Warning Center

Magnitude

Avalanche

Typhoon

Shelter-in-place

Disaster

Snow

Blizzard

Sleet

Mud slide or Mudslide

Erosion

Power outage

Brown out

Warning

Watch

Lightening

Aid

Relief

Closure

Interstate

Burst

Emergency Broadcast System

Looks like WUWT is going to be front and center 24/7/365 at the Department of Homeland Security, no matter what we do …

Lest you think I’m making this up, the list of words is on page 23 of the “Analyst’s Binder“, which describes the situation for those doing the analysis …

w.

==============================================================

Addendum by Anthony: I would add that Climate Progress, GRIST, Yale Environment Forum, DeSmog Blog, 350.org, and other “extreme weather = climate” alarmist websites also use these words, as does NOAA itself daily. Hopefully, they have DHS analysts capable of actually analyzing intent rather than relying on “tribal profiling”. – Anthony

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Watch
Lightening
Aid

Lightning and darkening are okay, but lightening isn’t?
Yep, that’s the way they wrote it. 🙂

Aussie Andrew

Clicking that link to the Analysts Binder caused my anti-virus to fire off two malware threats! WTF?

The document indeed lists lightening under weather. I wonder what discussion of fluorescent bulbs they will find.

DJ

“…Hopefully, they have DHS analysts capable of actually analyzing intent rather than relying on “tribal profiling”. – Anthony ”
Rather optimistic, I’d say. Based on fellow agencies like the BATF & TSA’s performance, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Jason Calley

Hmmmm… looks like there are a few that they use but left out, like “I”, “and”, and “the.”
Seriously, ALL your posts, chats and email are monitored, but mostly by computers running very specialized word recognition software. Yes, that includes phone calls and text messages. Why on Earth would I believe such an off the wall thing? Because the technology to do such a thing is available, you can bet someone is doing it.
For any who might think I am crazy, just remember that I might think you are naive.

BTW, that’s a gorgeous picture of a Tstrm. (Can I say Tstrm?)

Gail Combs

The word “ICE” ???? I wonder how many women swapping Ice tea recipes and other summer food recipes Homeland Security is now tracking?
A search for Ice Tea recipe returns about 3,290,000 results in google.

Matt

I was thinking of “electrical discharge” as an alternative to “Lightning”. And then I saw they have listed “Lightening” instead.

Jim Clarke

Of course, the people who want to stay under the radar probably know this stuff already and have figured out ways around it. Consequently, it is only the innocent who are being monitored and suspected.

Jason Calley says:
May 29, 2012 at 11:12 am
Seriously, ALL your posts, chats and email are monitored, but mostly by computers running very specialized word recognition software. Yes, that includes phone calls and text messages. Why on Earth would I believe such an off the wall thing? Because the technology to do such a thing is available, you can bet someone is doing it.

Remember the hubbub over CARNIVORE a decade ago? Remember the FBI saying the bureau wasn’t going to use it any more? Technically, they told the truth — they don’t use CARNIVORE any more.
They did, however, re-name it…

Gail Combs

Jason Calley says:
May 29, 2012 at 11:12 am
Hmmmm… looks like there are a few that they use but left out, like “I”, “and”, and “the.”
Seriously, ALL your posts, chats and email are monitored,…
For any who might think I am crazy, just remember that I might think you are naive.
____________________________
No I think you are correct.
Former NSA Mathematician Says He Believes the Agency Stores Copies of All Emails Transmitted in America
Karen Nowak, who has Hackney Horses found the USDA had her e-mails and used them, along with lies to get her banned from a farm expo because she was handing out anti-NAIS (Animal ID ) flyers. Article was at http://www.horsegazette.com/NAIS/NAIS_Supporters_Fighting_Dirty.html (link no longer works)

John Whitman

So, not only does the problematic ‘science’ Team of CG1 & CG2 notoriety have names of skeptics who shall not be named (see latest article by CG1 & CG2 team member Tim Osborn*** at UEA/CRU website), now we also have a US government security agency listing some normal climate discourse words that cannot be said without there being some level of security analysis checking out who is saying the words.
It is a brave new world. On a not-paranoid basis though, I must say that all the helicopters I’ve seen recently in my local area were red, white or blue . . . . in other words they were rescue and medical helicopters. : ) No black ones at midnight : )
*** Tim Osborn currently an IPCC AR5 Lead Author which is surprising with all his controversial CG1 & CG2 practices involving ‘management’ of the bias in the AR4 IPCC preparation processes.
John

Gary Hladik

“Don’t say that word!”
“What word?”
“I cannot tell. Suffice to say it is one of the words The Knights of Ni cannot hear!”
Y’know, if the US Government is run by Monty Python, that would explain A LOT.

Of course, the list-builders wil haf ta no howta spel. R, w cld jst wrt n cnsnnts. Tht’d scrw thm p.
En-lightening!

Luther Wu

I’ve read the full lists and they seem to include words which might be used in any sort of complaint about government… can’t have anyone complaining about the government.

Curiousgeorge

Simple remedy. Git rid of DHS.

Terrorists must be the dumbest creatures on earth if they can’t get past a group of people concentrating on weather words….. ostensibly code for something?

Latitude

I just sent the list out to everyone on my email list……………………… ;-D

Urederra

I learnt the meaning of sleet during my first winter in Minnesota. We do not have that in Spain.

mkelly

This will end the show “Storm Chasers”. They use interstates and use just about all these words.

If you concentrate on everything, you concentration on nothing.
Shoot, I just sent out invitations for an
Ice Tea Party to celebrate the start of Hurricane Season to help boy scouts begin their Emergency Preparedness and First Aid merit badges classes to be held just off the Interstate where we will also watch and enjoy the forecast ligntening storm.
It’s all very nefarious [a word not included in the list].

Of course, this is nuts … anyone truly engaged in nefarious activities rather than simply grousing about the USDA or passing recipes back and forth is going to use ENCRYPTION … so the low-level terrorist wanna-be’s are the only ones that will be ‘screened’ out by this activity.

Kaboom

Why not use the spell checker database in MS Office`or Webster’s and be done with it?

TheImpaler

Damn, I was thinking of lightening my hair too. Thought it would be less painful than lightning my hair.

In the interest of taking Uncle Sam’s web crawlers for a ride, I propose a writing contest to see who can write the most frightening essay using the greatest number of words from the list. Additional points should be given to the contestant who can show that the greatest number of people have gotten a copy without resorting to spam tactics.

Latitude

suyts says:
May 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Terrorists must be the dumbest creatures on earth if they can’t get past a group of people concentrating on weather words….. ostensibly code for something?
============
wel f dey txt…..it’s ll skrood

Geneke11y

This is not bad policy.
Crying fire in a crowded theatre is dangerous.
Crying hurricane for a laugh is wrong.
But I think catastrophist views of AGW have more to worry about.

Gary Hladik

?sdrawkcab nettirw sdrow eseht rof kcehc osla yeht oD

Curiousgeorge

Anybody besides me also a retired Marine, Nam vet, and a gun nut who also hangs out with bikers, and lives out in the MS woods?
Shoot, I already have dossier about a foot thick.

Jenn Oates

I am SO going over to my blog after work and trying to get myself investigated. 🙂

jayhd

Given all the contrarians who visit this site, Drudge and others like it, I expect an avalanche of emails and comments purposely including these words hitting the internet like a tsunami. I hope the DHS computers are up to the task.
Jay Davis

gnomish

when we did GAG NSA day around ten years back, we accomplished the mission by attaching the long list of keywords to every email, putting it on webpages with the same color type as the background and flooded the net with them.
the result was that the nsa shut down for 24 hours in anticipation – to avoid the flood.
we know this because internet speeds rose 10 times at 11:30 pm pst and persisted at high speed until almost exactly 24 hours later. their gateways slow things down that much, apparently.
now it cheers me immensely to see that this list of keywords is again flooding the nsa.
they are sent thru the monitors every time anybody reads this page.
good job. P-} harr!

Willis Eschenbach

Stephen Rasey says:
May 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Shoot, I just sent out invitations for an
Ice Tea Party to celebrate the start of Hurricane Season to help boy scouts begin their Emergency Preparedness and First Aid merit badges classes to be held just off the Interstate where we will also watch and enjoy the forecast lightening storm.
It’s all very nefarious [a word not included in the list].

You are grounded for life … not to mention me, I put all of the words in a single blog post.
It’d be laughable if they weren’t so serious about it. But then again, “privacy” is sooo 20th century …
w.

Gary

Help? Well, OK if they respond quickly to an emergency plea.

suyts (James S.) says May 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Terrorists must be the dumbest creatures on earth if they can’t get past a group of people concentrating on weather words….. ostensibly code for something?

The FULL LIST is much more extensive than this; Anthony posted only the weather-related terms above … the other categories include:
o DHS & Other Agencies
o HAZMAT & Nuclear
o Health Concern + H1N1
http://www.businessinsider.com/youll-be-surprised-by-the-words-dhs-agents-desktop-binder-tells-them-to-look-for-on-your-facebook-page-2012-5?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+businessinsider+(Business+Insider
.

Jason Calley

@ Bill Tuttle “Remember the hubbub over CARNIVORE a decade ago? Remember the FBI saying the bureau wasn’t going to use it any more? Technically, they told the truth — they don’t use CARNIVORE any more. They did, however, re-name it…”
Ouch! No, I had forgotten about that one. Sigh…
In the past (as in the Eschelon monitoring program) US agencies sometime just got foreign agencies to do what the US agencies found inconvenient. “You monitor our citizens and we’ll monitor your citizens. Then we will just swap info!” This gives instant deniability. “What? You think we would dare to violate the US Bill of Rights here in the good old USA?! Of course not!”
I think we are almost past the time when US agencies request actions by foreign agencies; we are approaching the next step, and it is not a good development.

@Jason Calley.
“Hmmmm…”
I agree 100%.
Insane.
This, added to Black Boxes mandated in all post 2014 cars (where future warmists could track you, outlawing all unessential driving; where were the Repubs on this? [answer: on board, they are the “authoritarian” establishment Repubs]), warrantless searches OKed in almost all circumstances (for example, if you “object” to a search request, that is grounds for a search! kind of comparable to medieval witch trials where they tossed you into a pond and said “if he floats, he’s guilty”), overhead Drones, talk of clampdowns on free speech on the net (including among commenters, and conservatives!), TSA’s craziness, endless property rights infringements by the EPA & the econuts, and lots more I can’t even think of.
I wasn’t for Ron Paul, but sometimes enough is enough. Perhaps, even if Mitt wins this time, in 2016 we should go with a Ron Paul like figure (with just the right amount of “moderation” in key spots to get a new > 50% coalition [including the youth vote]), perhaps Rand Paul.

Mike Smith

Of course, as _Jim says, the real terrorists will be using encryption.
So, clearly this silliness is not about real terrorism. It’s about monitoring social dissidence while maintaining an appearance of “doing something about terrorism”.

vigilantfish

Looks like its time to reinvent Cockey rhyming slang, but we need to know the other trigger (oops?) words so as to avoid them: eg ‘in the muck’ instead of ‘stuck’. Of course, the use of acronyms will then be magnified, causing even more confusion to newbies. Sigh…

Well ,our codling government needs to protect us from any weather terrorism that someone on the internet might be scheming.Thank heavens.

Jolly farmer

Back in the early 1980s, a friend had just started working as a technician for the British Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) in Gloucestershire. His parents are pretty hard left-wing, so he was subject to serious positive vetting before recruitment.
One Friday evening, he arrived home for the weekend to hear his Dad say “Guess what, your uncle (living in the USA at the time) called a few days ago. He’s coming to visit.”
“Yes, I know, Dad,” he said.

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)

Weather/Disaster/Emergency
Emergency
Hurricane
Tornado
Twister
Tsunami
Earthquake
Tremor
Flood
Storm
Crest
Temblor
Extreme weather
Forest fire
Brush fire
Ice
Stranded/Stuck
Help
Hail
Wildfire
Tsunami Warning Center
Magnitude
Avalanche
Typhoon
Shelter-in-place
Disaster
Snow
Blizzard
Sleet
Mud slide or Mudslide
Erosion
Power outage
Brown out
Warning
Watch
Lightening
Aid
Relief
Closure
Interstate
Burst
Emergency Broadcast System

That is hilarious, since I worked 14 years in Disaster Emergency Services, and also am a skywarn storm spotter for the National Weather Service, I must be very well represented in their files. I also did training on Nuclear Weapons Effects as part of my official duties conducting the Radiological Defense courses for the state, and routinely get asked questions on those topics every year. I bet I’ve been flagged every way from Sunday for years.
I would like to see the data base they use to manage zettabytes of data from all those email messages.
Larry

Matt

If you actually read the linked analysts binder, this has nothing to do with monitoring peoples email or other personal communications, nor does it tie to any law enforcement efforts. The binder is about policy for creating and distributing National Situation Summaries and International Situation Summaries. There are 4 tiers of sources listed in the binder:
1. primary and prefered sources are the major news networks (televison/radio), news papers and international news agencies.
2. Government or specialized sites with a specific focus. Often includes .org’s, .net’s,and .co’s.
Obviously partisan or agenda-driven sites
3. Tabloids (national and international); Blogs, even if they are of a serious, political nature;
Popular magazines
4. News collection/ compilation sites
Tier 2 idealy should be corroberated with a tier 1 source
Tiers 3 & 4 must be corroborated with a tier 1 source.
Given that FEMA falls under DHS there is nothing untoward or sinister about the inclusion of weather / natural disaster terms being included in the search criteria.

mfo

Gary Hladik says:
May 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm
?sdrawkcab nettirw sdrow eseht rof kcehc osla yeht oD
+++++++++++++
od ylbaborp yehT

G. Karst

Are there ANY safe words??
Monitoring everyone is the same as monitoring nobody. How does one investigate 2,000,000 hits or flags per day. Sure would solve the unemployment problem… everyone could be employed investigating everyone. Say… maybe we could monitor every home thru a large monitor in every room. Hmmm. GK

I’ve used all the “no-no” words and have a recent TSA full body scan….do I move to the front row at Gitmo ?

chemman

I saw a list of all the word categories and words earlier today. I’m in deep sh*t because lots of words I use in emails related to Health Science issues will trigger a look.

Matt

@ G. Karst and Faux Science Slayer
As I said above, the linked document is about monitoring published news sources and websites, not individual people’s private communications and it is not tied to law enforcement efforts. It is all about DHS maintainting situational awareness though summary reports.
One of the things that FEMA got slammed for after hurricane Katrina was not having situational awarness and not preping emergency response resources before the state governments asked for help.
Given that FEMA is now part of DHS there is NOTHING sinister about the inclusion of weather/natural disaster terms in the keyword lists for doing the analyis to prepare the situation summaries.

Curiousgeorge says:
May 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm
Anybody besides me also a retired Marine, Nam vet, and a gun nut who also hangs out with bikers, and lives out in the MS woods?

Retired Army. I’ll see your Vietnam and raise you Bosnia, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The TSA in Philly (hiya, fellas!) have “accidentally” razored my hold baggage a couple of times, playing “Find the Kabar”…

Geoffrey Withnell

Anybody who really knows anything about how the monitoring is done, can’t talk about it, because the monitoring is “methods” and this is “Special Compartmented Information” (SCI). A Top Secret SCI clearance is the highest level clearance given. The people talking about this stuff do NOT know what they are talking about, proven by the very fact that they are talking.