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Florida Activates System For Citizens To Call Each Other Terrorists 501

An anonymous reader writes "Sheriffs in 13 Northeast Florida counties announced an online system Thursday for residents to report suspicious activity they think may be terrorism-related. The site provides examples of red flags to watch for, such as people with an unusual interest in building plans or who are purchasing materials useful in bomb making. Important places to watch include hobby stores and dive shops."
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Florida Activates System For Citizens To Call Each Other Terrorists

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @08:53AM (#43750901)

    With enough reporting, they might catch a single person who once thought about some act of terror. But wait, isn't that different from a terrorist attack?

    Oh well, let Florida sort it out, they're good at that.

  • Re: The Haystack (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pollarda ( 632730 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @08:57AM (#43750949)
    Is Bruce Schneier quoted as much as XKCD or is XKCD quoted as much as Bruce Schneier?
  • Re:Really??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:16AM (#43751161) Homepage

    For one, they'll probably report some statistics for "dozens of reports of possible terrorist threats each day".
    Secondly, the mere existence of the reporting tool means people get reminded of terrorism more often.
    Finally, "Where there's smoke, there's fire"; this is the smokescreen (bad pun, sorry).

  • Re:Really??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:16AM (#43751167)

    1) The fact this program ('report suspected terrorists') exists must mean that there are terrorists out there. I'm afraid.

    2) I need to buy a new pressure cooker for the big meal I'm cooking... what if I get reported as a possible terrorist?? I'm afraid.

  • Re:The Haystack (Score:5, Interesting)

    by P-niiice ( 1703362 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:17AM (#43751171)
    An eyewitness report of an actual crime and a tip on some subjective activity that is arguably suspicious are two different things entirely. In florida, sitting and reding the Koran on my front porch would probably be enough to get me called in.
  • by Mystakaphoros ( 2664209 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:26AM (#43751275) Homepage
    I'm sure Stasi PR didn't refer to the organization that way.
  • by ai4px ( 1244212 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:30AM (#43751331)
    Perhaps we could call the terrorist hotline and report a black car with tinted windows. I just saw the driver looking around suspiciously as he sat in the car and just before he closed the door, I noticed he was carrying a pistol out in the open and had what seemed to be a sawed off shotgun in the front seat. He spoke using a lot of codes, as if they were second nature to him. I strongly suspect this individual to be involved in a rather large, well organized group who seems to want to harass and harm people. I think he's either a terrorist or a government agent in an unmarked car.... it is so hard to tell the difference these days.
  • by fl!ptop ( 902193 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:35AM (#43751405) Journal

    chemical (water processing etc) engineers are interested in one of the country's largest man made chemical(water) processing structure.

    I'm a chemical engineer, and I too visited several water and wastewater treatment facilities while in college. The whole class went at the same time on these "field trips." But, from TFA:

    Shortly after midnight Tuesday, seven people were caught trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir.

    All of the "field trips" we took were during the day, and never "shortly after midnight." And, the trips were made while we were still in school, not after we graduated. The actions of these people seem very suspicious to me.

  • by Moskit ( 32486 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:42AM (#43751487)

    This is exactly the methods used in Soviet Russia and other countries with similar political system.

    For years various such countries lived under communism, and they finally got rid of it 25 years ago. For years USA was hailed as the "country of freedom", and it recently adopts communist-like methods.

    In California if you want to purchase medicaments, they check your ID and input your date of birth to the cash register, because law prohibits sale of medicaments (known to Americans as "drugs") to minors.
    You also need to provide your ID and date of birth if you purchase a knife sharpener (made in China, of course). Sales of knives to minors is prohibited, and knife sharpeners are put under the same "knife" type of merchandise.
    Heck, you cannot even buy something as simple as contact lenses without a prescription! Apparently it is too dangerous for people to buy without doctor approval. Must be true, so many people in Europe die because they bought wrong lenses, right?

    Combine this all with extensive spying on their own citizens, security theatre (most visibly by TSA) and now encouraging citizens to spy on the others... Stalin would have been proud!

    What next? USA remake of Pavlik Morozov?
    Wait, they already have people sue their parents... some will surely chose to denounce instead.

    (note: this is slightly on pessimist side to compensate for the optimists out there who will surely reply "nah, it's not an issue, we don't have a problem")

  • Learn baby learn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @09:49AM (#43751569) Homepage Journal

    Looks like they haven't learnt from the Korean debacle.
    Korean govt started this thing for traffic offenses (South Korea).
    There was a monetary benefit too attached. Soon there were people, who deliberately slowed down while crossing on green, so their hiding snapper friend would click pictures of motorists caught unawares. Soon this developed to a stage that motorists beat up a few people., and it also resulted in streetfights. Needless to say, it was abandoned.
    Now of course, there is no monetary benefit here, but you will have a small percentage who would be misguided into thinking that its their patriotic duty. There will also be a small percentage of malicious people who want to get even with their "weird" neighbor. Then there would be some douchebags who will think its a nice prank to have a swat team in their neighborhood.
    So its going to be a party now

  • by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:08AM (#43751737)
    I love the first one:

    People drawing or measuring important buildings.

    I really just want to go grab a sketch pad and a measuring tape and head downtown...
  • by WilyCoder ( 736280 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:15AM (#43751819)

    If the ultimate goal is to observe something then it is best done during daylight when you can see better.

    Trespassing, at midnight, to satisfy educational curiosity?

    The only time I have been that hungry for knowledge was when i lived next door to some hot sorority girls who kept the window shades open while changing.

  • by FuzzNugget ( 2840687 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:18AM (#43751857)

    It's doing a perfectly good job destroying itself from the inside.

    Budding chemists, engineers, pilots and generally skilled people are being caught up in the dragnet and being rounded up as potential terrorists in this persistent culture of fear. Especially if they're brown.

  • Re:The State Militia (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hoboroadie ( 1726896 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @10:30AM (#43752051)

    Anyone planning armed resistance to our criminal government is an idiot. (Peaceful resistance looks pretty fucking foolish, as well.)
    Anyone who thinks that taking away my guns improves security is an idiot. (If I can't be trusted with WMDs, then wtf am I doing AT LARGE?)
    I can't seem to get through to anyone that the Second Amendment's purpose was to keep us from maintaining a tyrannical military, to be used for crimes against the People. Publius had to do a lot of hard selling to convince everyone that we could trust a national army. I think we got conned.

  • by kilfarsnar ( 561956 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @11:33AM (#43752973)

    ...right down the drain.

    I genuinely don't know what to say to Americans now. It's not like they can just pack up and move to the next country over. But I sure as hell wouldn't be staying another week if I was there... what a sad ending to a country with great promise.

    I don't know what to say to Americans either, and I am one. Most of my fellow citizens have no idea what is happening. They think the world is just as it is presented on the news. And they are so conditioned that America = Awesome, and so take their rights and liberties for granted, they are blind to the state trying to take them away. As I have said before, people think fascism has to look like Nazi Germany and even then it has to look like it does in the movies. It's frustrating and scary to me.

  • Re:Really??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2013 @02:07PM (#43755201)

    My neighbor in the city I used to live in was a gardener. Dude was like 70. Anyway, had a nice greenhouse, would make some cash on the side selling flowers and tomatoes and such every spring/summer. Anyway, one day the feds kicked his door in, tore up his house, wrecked his greenhouse, etc, because someone reported they saw pot there. Feeling they got fucked with, the feds dragged in the person that made a tip to point out the pot. They pointed to a plant with similar leaves that looked nothing like it, that he had openly on sale.

    Whatdya know? Turns out the person that called in the tip was also a gardener that now had a much better chance to sell their wares now that his competition was basically ruined. Neighbor gets out of it with a sprained wrist, bruises, a bunch of broken flower pots, ripped bags, busted lights, etc. Looked like a damn hurricane hit the place.

    We wrecked an old dude's life on an anonymous tip that he was growing pot there, in the open, in front of tons of straight edged old geezers that would freak out if they so much as saw a real pot leaf.

System checkpoint complete.