New Terrorist Suspect Definition: “Someone searching the web for suspicious stuff”

The Guardian’s scoop today on the National Security Agency’s XKeyscore included documents that showed the “standards” that NSA employees can use to target Americans and others to vacuum up their email and all their Internet-related information.

Page 14 of the documents reveals one of the new definitions of terrorist suspect: “someone searching the web for suspicious stuff.”

So, if you ever did a Google search to find this blog, you’re out of luck privacy-wise.

Or if you ever did a search combining the terms “Obama” and “shameless hokum” – well….


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15 Responses to New Terrorist Suspect Definition: “Someone searching the web for suspicious stuff”

  1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 1, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    I am *so* glad that I have this site bookmarked and don’t have to search for it! I am sure that I will have far fewer problems because I already know where trouble is, and don’t have to go looking for it.

    • Jim August 1, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Lawhobbit, I have been assured by good sources that they have been on your case since 1996.

  2. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 1, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Only ’96? The year before I crashed the Korean economy? I’ve been SLACK, I say, SLACK!

    And speaking of slack, and to drag this thread back onto topic (and off of me), here’s some slackness in thought for ya:

    • Jim August 1, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      Very interesting analysis of Obama & Snowden. Obama’s swaggering is starting to resemble either Bush or Cheney – I’m not sure which.

      • Tom Blanton August 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

        I believe Obama’s swaggering more resembles Cheney’s. A major component of the Bush Swagger (also the name of a dance I invented that did not catch on at the disco) was his walk. This entails keeping your arms at your sides with your hands extended about one foot away from your hips. While slightly shrugging your shoulders, you turn the palms of your hands toward the rear. As you walk, you move your arms in the opposite direction of your legs.

        Obama just doesn’t have these moves down yet.

        To do the Bush Swagger, you first need to get Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA
        CD. While playing that song on repeat over and over, you do the Bush walk described above in a circle about 6 feet wide in time with the music. As you do this, you turn your head from side to side as if you are scoping out those who might think you are cool as shit.

        Then you are doing the Bush Swagger.

        • Jim August 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

          It sounds like it is more difficult to master than the Biden Shuffle.

  3. Tom Blanton August 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    There’s a relatively new search engine in town:

    It is not as good as Google in some ways, although it actually uses Google by anonymously submitting searches to Google. Here’s the deal according to startpage:

    Startpage, and its sister search engine Ixquick, are the only third-party certified search engines in the world that do not record your IP address or track your searches. Every time you use a regular search engine, your search data is recorded. Major search engines capture your IP address and use tracking cookies to make a record of your search terms, the time of your visit, and the links you choose – then they store that information in a giant database.

    Those searches reveal a shocking amount of personal information about you, such as your interests, family circumstances, political leanings, medical conditions, and more. This information is modern-day gold for marketers, government officials, black-hat hackers and criminals – all of whom would love to get their hands on your private search data.

    Now you safely search for your favorite subversive topics in safety, unless startpage is actually a CIA or NSA front to sweep up those typical terrorists searching for suspicious stuff. I estimate the possibility of that being less than 100%.

    • Jim August 1, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

      Excellent tip. I will check this out.

      • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 2, 2013 at 10:59 am #

        Recognizing, of course, that the standard is quickly becoming, “If it looks like you have something to hide, then you DO have something to hide and are, QED, a criminal or terrorist.”

        And lest you think I’m being hobbitly hyperbolic, let me direct your attention back to this recent bit of evidence:

        • Jim August 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

          Lawhobbit, one irony here – I have seen you often advise anyone who is arrested to SHUT YOUR DAMN MOUTH – perhaps with slightly more tact than my thumbnail.

          And now people who follow your previous advice will be perceived to plead guilty…

          • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

            I have modified that advice slightly:

            Demand an attorney, THEN shut up and wait.

            For the advanced student, opening the conversation (and doing your best “stuck record”* gig) with, “Am I free to leave?” is not bad – though you risk honking off the officer and being tazed while trying to escape or something. As you do nothing but wait.

            *another metaphor killed by time – does that even make sense any more?

  4. Jim August 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    I appreciate the modification and have emailed your comment above to all my acquaintances most likely to be detained.

    • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      And yet I have not seen it. Which means that either a) I am not an acquaintance or b) you do not think me likely to be detained. I’m not sure which of the two is more comforting.

      • Jim August 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

        You left out category c) Beyond Redemption

        • The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit August 7, 2013 at 10:39 am #

          Or, as we small town country lawyers like to put it, “Effin’ screwed.”