Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

For the government, a reference to the 'Emergency Broadcast System' constitutes a suspicious tweet

by Patt Morrison

39020 full
In this photo illustration a laptop computer displays a Twitter feed relating to Egyptian protests on January 27, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Quick: take down any references to “pork” or “hail” on your Facebook page—those are red flag words for the American government and could lead to increased surveillance of your social media accounts. According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the federal government forks over $11 million dollars a year to a contractor called General Dynamics, which is tasked with monitoring social media sites for potential threats to United States security. EPIC requested the list back in April of 2011, and filed suit using the Freedom of Information Act when the Department of Homeland security failed to deliver. While the list is now public, many argue that it raises more questions than it answers.


Just how many times does one need to post about “bridges” before that red flag goes up? Do you feel more secure or less secure knowing the government scrapes social media sites for this information? Is your online privacy an acceptable compromise for national security? What do you think of the fact that the government contracts this job out?


Ginger McCall, director of the Open Government project with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

DHS Keywords

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy Patt Morrison? Try KPCC’s other programs.

What's popular now on KPCC