Barack Obama's,John McCain's Amerikkka:U.S.Police Emergency ? Don't Call 9/11 - Google For A Pressure Cooker and Backpack
a New York couple had an unwelcome visit from counter-terrorism authorities.
Blogger and journalist Michele Catalano was Googling pressure cookers.
Blogger and journalist Michele Catalano was Googling pressure cookers. She wanted a
pressure cooker to cook quinoa, which is that South American grainy stuff you can buy
Meanwhile, her husband had been using the same computer to search for backpacks. He needed
a backpack. Who doesn't need a new backpack from time to time? He, too, was doing a harmless
The couple's 20-year-old son was all over the computer too. After reading about the Boston
bombings, he was clicking links about home-made bombs. It was harmless stuff, done purely
out of curiosity.
But nothing is harmless is these days of terrorism and counter-terrorism. Not when it leads
authorities to believe someone might be manufacturing a home-made bomb.
"My son's reading habits combined with my search for a pressure cooker and my husband's
search for a backpack set off an alarm of sorts at the joint terrorism task force headquarters,
"That's how I imagine it played out, anyhow. Lots of bells and whistles and a crowd of task force
workers huddled around a computer screen looking at our Google history."
What happened next was, authorities swooped. They visited the couple's home at about 9 in the
morning. It was real black ops stuff. Six dudes in three black SUVs pulled up and surrounded the
They knocked. The husband let them in. They searched. And after not too long, they left,
convinced the couple's home was one of the 99 per cent of such cases where there was no
And that was that. Except that isn't entirely that, because as many are asking today: how on earth
does the government know what people are Googling?
That question has particular relevance today, given National Security Agency leaker Edward
Snowden has just been granted temporary asylum in Russia. Mr Snowden revealed details of a
US intelligence program which monitors internet activity.
The experience of the Catalano family suggest such monitoring is more widespread than many
Meanwhile, US website The Atlantic Wire picked up Ms Catalano's story and tried to ascertain
exactly which members of the "joint terrorism task force" (JTTF) visited the Catalano home.
The FBI and local police authorities both told the site it wasn't them.
An FBI spokesperson also said "officers, agents, or other representatives of the JTTF did not
visit that location".
Whichever secretive agency made the visit, it's safe to say they weren't foodies. When Ms
Catalano's husband explained she was Googling pressure cookers in order to cook quinoa, they
asked: "What the hell is quinoa?".
Read Michele Catalano's full blog here
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/american-family-raided-after-searching-backpacks-and-pressure-cookers-on-google/story-e6frfro0-1226690035517#ixzz2amNbvAeT