Your Google searches could end up earning you a visit from federal agents.
Michele Catalano was innocently looking into pressure cookers one day and around the same time her husband was Googling backpacks.
This led to the couple being interrogated by some federal agents who visited their home.
Catalano, who just so happens to be a professional writer, recalled the visit.
“They were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked.
“Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.”
The men identified themselves as members of the “joint terrorism task force.”
Certain Google searches can earn you visits like these. The question is, how were their Google searches released to the government agencies?
Basically, anything you search on Google is accessible by government forces per the NSA’s surveillance program. Certain keywords raise red flags, and if threats seem imminent and plausible, certain government agencies will investigate further.
The Google searches “pressure cooker” and “backpack” occurring around the same time raised eyebrows at the FBI, who subsequently launched an investigation.
Be careful what you search online, you wouldn’t want the feds knocking on your door suspecting you of being a terrorist!