spoke harshly to us
and treated us as though
we were spying on the land.
~ Genesis 42
February 1, 2012 in Federal Bureau of InvestigationPublic Intelligence
The following collection of 25 flyers produced by the FBI and the Department of Justice are distributed to local businesses in a variety of industries to promote suspicious activity reporting. The flyers are not released publicly, though several have been published in the past by news media and various law enforcement agencies around the country. We have compiled this collection from a number of online sources.
To view the documents, click on a threat area in the menu to the left and the PDF will appear on the right side of the page.
You can also download the complete collection of files
(ZIP Archive, 6.27 MB)
Le Snitch AppA 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. The document, part of a program called “Communities Against Terrorism”, lists the use of “anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address” as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity.
The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using “software to hide encrypted data in digital photos” or other media. 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.
Logging into an account associated with a residential internet service provider (such as Comcast or AOL), an activity that could simply indicate that you are on a trip, is also considered a suspicious activity. 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.
The “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities” contained in the flyer are not to be construed alone as a sign of terrorist activity and the document notes 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.” However, many of the activities described in the document are basic practices of any individual concerned with security or privacy online. The use of PGP, VPNs, Tor or any of the many other technologies for anonymity and privacy online are directly targeted by the flyer, which is distributed to businesses in an effort to promote the reporting of these activities.
The company utilizes Smartphone technology to put crime reporting, literally, in the hands of users. After downloading the free iPhone or Android application, users can report an ongoing crime with the push of a button. A package of information including the location of the crime, photo, video, audio, and text description of the crime are sent to authorities immediately. The application also allows for users to report crime anonymously so that they may continue with their busy lives knowing that with a push of a button, police will know and have everything to pursue the criminal. Ordinary users become the eyes and ears of authorities