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Thursday, May 16, 2013


by Deborah Gang

An FBI internet surveillance unit will collaborate with the coming NSA data center in Utah to decipher and monitor email between private citizens. Homeland Security recently began to monitor social media using version 2.1.3 key words & search terms.*

Some are obvious. Do not use assassination, 
Taliban, bomb, bomb squad, bomb threat.

Al Qaeda (all spellings). But electric? Blackout. 
Metro. Power. Smart? Is it worth the risk to say

failure? Dock. Airport. Airplane and its derivatives. 
Cancelled. Delays. Flood. Snow. Blizzard.

Why, these are some of your necessary words--
everyone’s necessary words. If you suffer blizzards

you need to talk about them and if you don’t, you
need to gloat. Wildfire. Ice. Stranded. Stuck.
Temblor. All suspect. Use sleet at your own risk 
along with plague. Plume. Enriched. Collapse. 

They have marked the best words as hazardous. 
Including hazardous. Breach. Mudslide. Grid. San Diego!

Say goodbye to relief and closure. And cyber terror.
Cyber terror is not to be used.         Warning

is on the list. 

  • "The Department of Homeland Security Is Searching Your Facebook and Twitter for These Words" by Joel Johnson, Animal New York, February 27, 2012.
  • "The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)" by James Bamford Wired, March 15, 2012.
  • "Avoid these words to prevent Homeland Security from spying on your social networks"
    --Technology News Blog by Tecca, Today in Tech, Yahoo! News, May 29, 2012.
  • "U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens" by Julia Angwin, The Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2012.

Originally from Washington D.C., Deborah Gang moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan to attend graduate school and remained there, both for her work as a psychotherapist and the proximity to Lake Michigan. Her research has been published in Education and Treatment of Children and her prose and poems in Literary Mama, Encore, The Michigan Poet and J Journal (CUNY).