DHS Monitors YouTube and Facebook in Search for Bombs and Cyber Terror

A recent report published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the organization’s official website reveals that the National Operations Center (NOC) actively monitors certain websites looking for things that may concern national security, hacking operations and nuclear threats.

The “Publicly Available Social Media Monitoring and Situation Awareness Initiative” shows that the NOC is assisting the DHS in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture for the federal government.

While they claim that the initiative is not designed to collect private information there are exceptions in the case of a “life and death” situation, the policies for these practices being very strict.

“The NOC will identify and monitor only information needed to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture. The NOC will use this information to fulfill the statutory mandate set forth above to include the sharing of information with foreign governments and the private sector as otherwise authorized by law,” the document reads.

An appendix attached to the document lists the exact tools the DHS utilizes, the websites it monitors and whether or not they require a password for access.

For General Search they rely on websites such as Collecta, Who’s Talking and Shrook RSS reader, and when it comes to video sites, Time Tube, YouTube, Vimeo and MySpace Video are just a few of the targeted ones.

Map sites, photo sites and those that relate to social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, are also under their radar.

News websites that cover security issues are also on their list, security researcher Brian Krebs’ personal blog being among them.

When it comes to the keywords they’re looking for, we find United Nations, Red Cross, assassination, shots fired, organized crime, bomb, hazmat, nuclear, radiation, and even viruses and diseases such as Ebola, H5N1 (bird flu), salmonella, plague and tuberculosis.

Terrorism and cyber security have their own categories where we find words like chemical weapon, Hamas, Hezbollah, eco terrorism, botnet, DDOS, malware, phishing, hacker and, of course, China.
Source: Softpedia 

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