If Terrorists Could Please Tag Their Blog Posts 'Death To America', The US Government Would Appreciate It

from the and-post-pics-of-their-hideouts-on-flickr dept

A lot of companies like to keep tabs on what people are saying about them, and with the advent of blogs, that’s been taken to a new level. It seems that the federal government wants to get on the bandwagon, as the DHS is looking to develop software that monitors publications around the globe and gauges sentiment towards the US. Officials say this could help the government identify potential threats to the country. First of all, we’d assume the government is already monitoring publications pretty closely. Second, the idea that negative sentiment towards the country is somehow a useful predictor of terrorist attacks is a bit absurd. In a sense, sure, it seems likely that regions where terrorists reside will probably correlate with places where there’s negative sentiment in the press. But what does that tell you? Such a system would probably be as effective as the complex social network analysis that concluded that many of those involved in the 9/11 attacks were associated with ringleader Mohammad Atta. Just because it’s true, doesn’t mean it’s useful.

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Comments on “If Terrorists Could Please Tag Their Blog Posts 'Death To America', The US Government Would Appreciate It”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Let me disagree, I see your point, but not everyone on this planet outside US thinks Bush as an a**hole …

Anyway, I wonder what is the corelation between a blog (a democratic form of free speach :)) ) and terorism … if everyone in my country would take a gun and go to kill the government EVERYBODY is speaking about in very bad words, we would be a 10million-killer-country 🙂 To criticize doesnt mean to kill. But in the other direction, to understand doesnt mean to kill as well 😉

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Anyone who doesn’t think Bush is an asshole is one of two things:

1. A religious sheep whose never figured out that neither faith or belief in any omnipotent being doesn’t make you just, moral, intelligent or otherwise insightful.

2. Someone who achieves personal gain from his position of power.


Seems we’re working on that one – just give us some time…

Anyone who buys into this whole idea that we can actually WIN a war against ideology through violance of those who belive in it is either a politician who knows better but personally gains from selling the idea to a vast majority of suckers or someone who is a brainwashed loser (both of which seem to be in abundance in the good ol’ U.S. of A and I’m not sure which scares me more).

Rainer (user link) says:

Come on...

Not every source of information is valuable. That doesn’t mean DHS shouldn’t pursue it. On blogs, many people spit out information they wouldn’t normally say in public, and that could lead DHS to upcoming plots, training centers, among other things.

So, if they implement this program and it saves one life because some idiot spilled the beans over his upcoming suicide, then I say go for it!

Kyros (profile) says:

I seriously doubt any terroist bright enough to pull off a terroist plot (not saying alot of IQ is needed, just some), then i doubt their going to post it in their blog. Just seems…stupid to me? I think our government is just trying to make it seem like it’s doing something, when it’s really doing nothing. Oh and Anonymous (1st post) it’s more like 80% of american blogs.

Lay Person says:


You know, Stalin really could have put this monitoring stuff to practical use! If you even used a comma the wrong way…BAM!… up to a Siberian labor camp with you.

Oh, since your not with us, you must be against us…BAM!…Siberian labor camp!

What’s that? Taxes are too high?…BAM!…

Oh you lost 2 sons in Iraq?…BAM!…

You don’t like our medical system?…BAM!…

Yeah, lots of practical uses!

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