A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity. […] In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone “overly concerned about privacy” or attempting to “shield the screen from view of others” should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.
Viewing any content related to “military tactics” including manuals or “revolutionary literature”is also considered a potential indicator of terrorist activity. This would mean that viewing a number of websites, including the one you are on right now, could be construed by a hapless employee as an highly suspicious activity potentially linking you to terrorism.
However, many of the activities described in the document are basic practices of any individual concerned with security or privacy online.
From the flyer itself, suspicious persons are people who:
- Are overly concerned about privacy, attempts to shield the screen from view of others
- Act nervous or suspicious behavior inconsistent with activities
- Are observed switching SIM cards in cell phone or use of multiple cell phones
- Travel illogical distance to use Internet Café
(Wow this targets just about every socially anxious, poor, overloaded, or private person ever.)
And activities on computer indicate:
- Use of anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address
- Suspicious or coded writings, use of code word sheets, cryptic ledgers, etc.
- Encryption or use of software to hide encrypted data in digital photos, etc.
- Suspicious communications using VOIP or communicating through a PC game
(Guess I’m a terrorist now for using KeyScrambler or LastPass, or for only talking to people in games we happen to share.)
And they use computers to:
- Download content of extreme/radical nature with violent themes
- Gather information about vulnerable infrastructure or obtain photos, maps or diagrams of transportation, sporting venues, or populated locations
- Purchase chemicals, acids, hydrogen peroxide, acetone, fertilizer, etc.
- Download or transfer files with “how-to” content such as:
- Content of extreme/radical nature with violent themes
- Anarchist Cookbook, explosives or weapons information
- Military tactics, equipment manuals, chemical or biological information
- Terrorist/revolutionary literature
- Preoccupation with press coverage of terrorist attacks
- Defensive tactics, police or government information
- Information about timers, electronics, or remote transmitters / receivers
(A tip for the future: Don’t use Internet Cafes if you are on vacation or lost, want news, need help with something you’ve purchased or something you use at work, need to buy something for the farm…)