DHS's weird, creepy social media search-terms


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On Aug 17, the day the article shows the ‘happy camp’ search string being used, the Happy Camp Complex wildfire that started on Aug. 12 had already burned several thousand acres in Siskiyou County, California.

“Creepy”? Only in the imagination of the ignorant.


I don’t even find the “ebola black market” search to be creepy, certainly not for DHS. If someone were to try and use it as a bio/terror weapon, then samples of the virus on the black market would be one way to do so. Isn’t that the sort of thing that the DHS should be investigating? Why is it scary that someone at DHS did a google search of that again?

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Likewise, ‘black+market+ebola’ shows up as a DHS search string on 9/12/2014.

Searching for Google News hits on ‘black market ebola’ on that date turns up a whole batch of stories, topped by the Daily Mail’s rather breathless Ebola ‘treatment’ made from the blood of survivors is being traded on a new black market emerging amid the outbreak

So, is it really “downright terrifying” that the DHS would be searching for those particular terms on that particular day?

Or is someone once again getting all worked up (or, worse, wanting me to get all worked up?) based on nothing but ignorance and imagination and fear?

If this is what passes for ‘watching the watchers’, then it’s a waste of time.

This isn’t information, it’s entertainment.

(And as entertainment, it’s a pale Beavis’n’Butthead imitation at best. “Anything I don’t understand is either weird, or scary, or fodder for sarcasm and snark.” Pretty pathetic, really.)


Unless the DHS analysts were searching “How to disband the TSA” and/or “transparent government in action”, it’s just mundane, daily activity. Not really newsworthy at all.

Now…if the FOIA request had come back with daily searches from one of their analysts for “(boobs || b00bs || breasttts) && michelle obama”, etc., that would be entertainment.

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On Aug 17, the day the article shows the ‘happy camp’ search string being used

Agreed. When I first saw the search term before checking the date, I thought it was going to be something about The Earth First rally earlier in the year that local law enforcement treated as if it were a national security issue. Nope, the search was timed right during the period where people were evacuating due to a forest fire.

This was poorly researched at best, and doesn’t help build the case for all the things DHS does do wrong. It’s like someone just said “happy camp. That looks weird. put it in there.”

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