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Little Red Riding Hood in the Internet Forest

This is an imaginary e-mail:

Hi Cindy,
Sorry for the DELAY in my RESPONSE to you but it’s been a DISASTER month for me, SICK with an INFECTION, with SYMPTOMS of FOOD POISONING from a PORK dish I ate in a MEXICAN diner. Turns out the diner had had a POWER OUTAGE, their fridge went BUST and all the meat spoiled. Whether it was SALMONELLA or a VIRUS, after this there was a RECALL of all the PORK sold in the city.
My RECOVERY has been slow and I haven’t felt up to getting on the SOCIAL MEDIA lately.

I’ll keep in touch.

This kind of e-mail would send Alice to the top of of the list of potential suspects that the Department of Homeland Security (DOS) of the USA looks for when patrolling social and online media. (I am aware of that as I prepare to e-mail this article, containing this fictitious e-mail, for publication…)
The words written in capital letters are, among many others, on a list of keywords and phrases the DOS considers potential indicators of “signs of terrorist activities or threats against the US,” or which reflect

adversity to the US government.
The Manual that contains this list was released as a result of a Freedom of Information lawsuit against the DOS and the list was labeled “redacted.” It makes you wonder what else it contained in its unredacted form.
The list was posted on the internet by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The DOS admits only that the list contains words and terms that are too vague and it needs clarifying and improvement. Perhaps replacing it with all the entries in the unabridged Webster Dictionary could do the job. The DOS also claims that this is done not to police the internet but only to “maintain awareness.” It sounds very much like like the Wolf saying to Red Riding Hood: “Come closer so I can SEE you better.”

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One Response to Little Red Riding Hood in the Internet Forest

  1. who_me June 1, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    “bad guys” before, and “bad guys” now: