Feds monitoring social media sites

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER -- Big events in Denver are being watched by more than just the fans.  Security experts say it may be old software, but it's a new government program.

“It's basically trolling through online blogs, Twitters, and Facebook accounts for particular keywords, things like bomb, president and anthrax,” said Charles Lindell, a security expert.

The program came to light Thursday at a congressional hearing.

“We do monitor national security, special events,” said Mary Ellen Callahan, who testified for the Department of Homeland Security at the hearing.

The program monitors updates on Facebook accounts. If someone types in their status, “this game is the bomb”, somewhere a homeland security computer starts buzzing.

“It's not to say if I were to use president and bomb in the same sentence I'm going to be flagged as a terrorist. It just means that you used those two together now they're going to pay a little more attention to you,” said Lindell.

Critics worry the program may be used to monitor protests like the Occupy Denver Movement.  Either way, people are divided.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.