Turns out Uncle Sam is more of a peeping Tom than we even thought.
Now we know that the US government keeps our personal phone records, and can in certain cases access our emails, status updates, photos, and other personal information. We’re still not exactly sure how they sift through all this data.
But last year, the Department of Homeland Security released a list of over 370 keywords that served as trip-wires amidst the flow of conversation that pours through social media.
The operation—which is just one of an untold number of government programs keeping tabs on our tabs—flagged a variety of hot terms related to terrorism (dirty bomb), cyber security (Mysql injection), infrastructure (bridge, airport), health (pandemic), places (Mexico), and political dissent (radical), as well as more banal verbiage like 'pork' and 'exercise.'
So let's play a word game! Use our handy phrase generator to come up with pearls of keyword-loaded Twitter wit and perhaps earn you a new follower in Washington. Tweet it out, email it to a friend, share it around, you know the drill—and remember that the NSA and other government agencies might be reading along. And don’t forget to say hello.