Sunday, February 19, 2012

Going Down the FBI "Tripwire" Checklist

A number of web sites have compiled lists of things the FBI wants people to watch for other people doing, that might be considered suspicious activity.  Among  other things, they call this the "Tripwire" program.

In some cases, the suggestions are sensible.  In other cases, though, the suggestions are laughable.  Here's the flyer sent to hobby shops nationwide (click it to enlarge):

I took one list, from poorrichard's blog, and pasted it below.  I've put the things I occasionally do in bold:

1) Do Not: Use Google Maps to find your way around a strange city.
2) Do Not: Use Google Maps to view photos of sports stadiums.
3) Do Not: Install online privacy protection software on your personal computer.
4) Do Not: Attempt to shield your computer screen from the view of others.
5) Do Not: Shave your beard, dye your hair or alter your mode of dress.
6) Do Not: Sweat.
7) Do Not: Avoid eye contact.
8) Do Not: Use a cell-phone camera in an airport, train station or shopping mall.
9) Do Not: Seek to work alone or without supervision.
10) Do Not: Appear to be out of place.
11) Do Not: Have bright colored stains on your clothing.
12) Do Not: Be missing any fingers.
13) Do Not: Emit strange odors.
14) Do Not: Travel an “illogical distance” to do your shopping.
15) Do Not: Have someone pick you up from a beauty supply store.
16) Do Not: Be nervous.
17) Do Not: Be a new customer from out of town.
18) Do Not: Use a credit card in someone else’s name.
19) Do Not: Chant environmental slogans near construction sites.
20) Do Not: Enter a construction site after work hours.
21) Do Not: Rent watercraft for an extended period.
22) Do Not: Make comments involving radical theology.
23) Do Not: Make vague or cryptic warnings.
24) Do Not: Express anti-U.S. sentiments.
25) Do Not: Purchase a quantity of prepaid or disposable cell phones.
26) Do Not: Leave store without preprogramming disposable phones.
27) Do Not: Be overly interested in satellite phones and voice privacy.
28) Do Not: Ask questions about swapping SIM cards in cell phones.
29) Do Not: Ask questions about how phone location can be tracked.
30) Do Not: Rewire cell phone’s ringer or backlight.
31) Do Not: Express out-of-place and provocative religious or political sentiments.
32) Do Not: Purchase a police scanner, infrared device or 2-way radio.
33) Do Not: Act impatient.
34) Do Not: Drive a vehicle that appears to be overloaded.
35) Do Not: Depart quickly when seen or approached.
36) Do Not: Be a person “acting suspiciously.”
37) Do Not: Make illegible notes on a map.
38) Do Not: Take photos of the Statue of Liberty or other “symbolic targets.”
39) Do Not: Overdress for the weather.
40) Do Not: Ask questions in a hobby shop about remote controlled aircraft.
41) Do Not: Demonstrate interest that does not seem genuine.
42) Do Not: Request specific room assignments or locations at a hotel or motel.
43) Do Not: Arrive at a lodging with unusual amounts of luggage.
44) Do Not: Refuse cleaning service.
45) Do Not: Avoid the lobby of a hotel or motel.
46) Do Not: Remain in your hotel or motel room.
47) Do Not: Leave your hotel for several days, then return.
48) Do Not: Leave behind clothing and toiletry items.
49) Do Not: Park your vehicle in an isolated area.
50) Do Not: Be observed switching a cell phone SIM card.
51) Do Not: Be observed using multiple cell phones.
52) Do Not: Make notes that are illegible to passersby.
53) Do Not: Communicate through a PC game.
54) Do Not: Download “extreme/radical” content.
55) Do Not: Exhibit preoccupation with press coverage of terrorist attacks.
56) Do Not: Wear a backpack when the weather is warm.
57) Do Not: Speak to mall maintenance personnel or security guards.
58) Do Not: Make racist comments.
59) Do Not: Mumble to yourself.
60) Do Not: Pass along any anonymous threats you may receive.
61) Do Not: Discreetly take a photo in a mass transit site.
62) Do Not: Arrive with a group of people and split off from them.
63) Do Not: Demand “identity privacy.”
64) Do Not: Appear to endorse the use of violence in support of a cause.
65) Do Not: Make bulk purchases of meals ready to eat.
66) Do Not: Arrive in America from a land where militant Islamic groups operate.
67) Do Not: Take a long absence for religious education or charity work.
68) Do Not: Travel to countries where militant Islam rules.
69) Do Not: Study technical subjects that would aid a terror operation.
70) Do Not: Work in a field that “serves as a cover for preparing for an operation.”
71) Do Not: Exhibit ire at global policies of the U.S.

37 out of 71.  That's more than half, so maybe I'm a person of suspicion, eh?

Maybe I could add a #72 - looks like he is tempted to turn FBI seal into a Frisbee, and throw it into the lake:


Captain Power said...

Scary list, interesting but scary!

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, America -- land of the free.


eclecticsandra said...

Probably the top consideration is: Do not have brown skin.