The Department of Homeland Security makes fake users on Twitter and Facebook with which to follow suspicious people. But what if you're not shifty enough to get your own government e-stalker? No problem: Just tweet "My cow collapsed, and now there's a human to animal infection outbreak among illegal immigrants."
That should bring heaps of DHS scrutiny, judging from a fresh lawsuit seeking access to the agency's data. In the suit, the privacy advocates at Electronic Privacy Information Center said DHS is monitoring social networks, blogs and message boards for users saying terms like "human to animal," "collapse," "infection," "outbreak," and "illegal immigrants." If you use these words and phrases, the government might follow you, record your activity, and share information about you with local, state, federal, and foreign governments. Since EPIC has thus far received no cooperation from the government and is suing for access, it's not clear how the nonprofit compiled its list of red-flag keywords. Hopefully its research did not involve human to animal contact, smuggling things through airport security, or bribing government employees!
[Image via Johann Helgason/Shutterstock]