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Another absurd document surfaced from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that discusses “Possible Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Internet Cafes”. In that document it explains how to find potential terrorists and turn them over to the proper authorities for rendering... er I mean investigation.
I love the disclaimer at the bottom of the page. It’s perfect.
It is important to remember that just because someone’s speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different; it does not mean that he or she is suspicious.
First, of course, the FBI encourages me to “Be part of the solution” and snoop on my friends, neighbours and pretty much anyone I come into contact with.
Gather information about individuals without drawing attention to yourself Identify license plates, vehicle description, names used, languages spoken, ethnicity, etc.
It then goes on to describe why I am such a threat to the free world. For example, I am a suspected terrorist if I
- am “overly concerned about privacy”,
- pay cash for my transactions,
- am “preoccupied” with defensive tactics and the actions of police,
- use encryption to protect my private communications with others,
- use web anonymizers to hide my internet IP address from snoops like the FBI, Google and others, and
- download or transfer files with “how-to” content such as that with an “extreme/radical nature” (whatever that might mean!)
Guess I’d best stop using the WiFi over at Starbucks, huh? If the barista catches me surfing the web anonymously or sending an encrypted email (oh, the horror!) I could find myself in a deep dark hole surrounded by men in suits who are "just here to help me."