Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Under surveillance

If everything goes quiet round these parts any time soon, it may not simply be because I'm being lazy or am on holiday as usual. No, I may in fact be incapacitated and unable to blog on account of being waterboarded or confined in Guantanamo Bay in a nice pair of orange overalls. You see, I'm currently working on a book on terrorism and radicalisation, and have frequently had to resort to Google to check websites, publication titles and the names of individuals - all of which will probably mean that the NSA has probably started to take a keen interest in my online activities.

If so, then, can I say "Hello, NSA people!" and respectfully suggest that, rather than monitoring me, you instead focus your attentions on al-Qaeda's official Twitter account? (Who knew they had one?) No doubt it's probably used exclusively for retweeting pictures of cats, though. Wonder if anyone's hijacked any of their hashtags before?

Incidentally, I was interested to come across the following list of behaviours that counter-terrorism policies regard as indicative of extremists: "spending time in the company of other suspected extremists; changing one's style of dress; losing interest in friends not associated with the extremist group, cause or ideology; attempts to recruit others to the group, cause or ideology; using insulting names for another group; and clearly identifying another group as threatening and to blame for all social or political ills". I'm not sure any UKIP voters have mimicked Nigel Farage's sartorial style, but otherwise the cap fits...

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