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Any idea who is reading your cyber posts?

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees work on the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) operational watch floor where they monitor, track, and investigate cyber incidents.

The Department of Homeland Security is watching YOU (and me, too).

If you are a blogger, or play on the Social Network, the DHS is monitoring the appearance of key words to trigger investigations of terrorist or other anti government postings.

How does it work? To start with there are hundreds of words which draw DHS attention… words which I guarantee you have used at some time or another.

RT.com gives this description of how it could happen to you:

So, you’ve just come back from a beach holiday in Mexico and posted about it on your blog. Or maybe you’ve tweeted about skiing lessons? Updated your status, saying you’re stuck home with food poisoning?

All those things will tweak the DHS antennae, according to a manual published by the agency. The Analyst’s Desktop Binder, used by agency employees at their National Operations Center to identify “media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities,” includes hundreds of words that set off Big Brother’s silent alarms.

Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. It revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organizations for comments that “reflect adversely” on the government.

And what are the words, pray tell. Here they are in a graphic format so they don’t call attention to themselves as text:

List of words used by the National Operations Center to monitor social media (taken from the DHS Analyst’s Desktop Binder)

Any words you use in there? That’s what I thought.

Big Brother is Reading You!

sIf you think Facebook is going to start charging for membership…

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

… think again. It’s not the first time a viral rumor has spread that Facebook, with over 4 Billion bucks a year in ad revenue, is going to start charging membership fees.

Here’s a quick quote from the International Business Times:

“The ongoing rumor continues to resurface every so often, regardless of the fact that Facebook has a message on its homepage reading, “It’s free and always will be,” when prompting its 800 million users to log in.

“The chain message stating Facebook will charge a fee is proven to be just a hoax, as Facebook’s advertising revenue is expected to reach $4.27 billion in 2011, according to ZDNet.”

So: 1.) rest assured that you are not about to be charged to share meaningless stuff with your buddies, and 2.) don’t let the hoaxers use you to copy and distribute their phony Facebook notice.

Top Academy Award Nominees Are Out…

Here’s biggies list:

Best Picture
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“Inception”
“The Kids Are All Right ”
“The King’s Speech”
127 Hours
The Social Network
“Toy Story 3″
True Grit
“Winter’s Bone”

Best Direction
Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan”
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”
David Fincher for “The Social Network”
Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”
David O. Russell for “The Fighter”

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
James Franco in “127 Hours”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“The Illusionist”
“Toy Story 3″

This idea started last year of having ten competitors for Best Picture is one that I continue to disagree with. Surely we can elevate the best 4 or 5 pictures and have a rel competition. This just spreads the voters’ picks around and caters to commercial needs for ticket sales.

And, btw, my favorite across the board, is still The King’s Speech and it’s performers (and Director).