In 2017, a Long Island, New York, resident was visited by police after someone at her employer reviewed her web search history. I think she and her family are lucky there last names don’t seem “foreign.” It seems ‘trying to learn how to cook lentils’ can be construed as a possible preparation for terrorism.

I found that article via Bruce Schneier’s post on insider threat detection.

The “if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about” theory, that some people with their heads up their arses keep reiterating, can’t be defended.

I love this from a commenter on the original Burce Schneier post.

The history of human civilization can be viewed as a power struggle between people and the various groups with which they identify. A person or groups relative levels of “power” can be conceptualized in terms of a zero-sum game, because it is such that there must be winners and losers, oppressed and oppressors. The evolution of technology has empowered the individual like never before. Currently, I can do the work of tens of thousands of men everyday, if I have tractor. If I have produce to sell, with an automobile I can drive to a large farmers market 50 miles away to hawk it. Who needs a storefront for a service based business when I can just make a website. Who needs delivery trucks when I can just have it shipped. Or perhaps I’d like to eliminate a large number of people for some perceived wrong. Start up the old 76 chevy and find a crowded sidewalk (Might I add, mass carnage without me having to get out of my car seat Thumbs Up). Sooo…We have a natural inclination to engage in power struggles, while at the same time all involved parties grow more empowered by the day. At some point, any dominate group will desire to suppress any threat to there dominance. Simple as that. Thoughtcrime appears to me to be a likely outcome of all of this…

Emphasis mine.

New York woman visited by police after researching pressure cookers online by Adam Gabbatt (the Guardian)

I felt a sense of creeping dread take over. What else had I looked up? What kind of searches did I do that alone seemed innocent enough but put together could make someone suspicious? Were they judging me because my house was a mess (Oh my god, the joint terrorism task force was in my house and there were dirty dishes in my sink!). Mostly I felt a great sense of anxiety. This is where we are at. Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list. Where you have to watch every little thing you do because someone else is watching every little thing you do.

All I know is if I'm going to buy a pressure cooker in the near future, I'm not doing it online.

I'm scared. And not of the right things.

Whenever someone suggests I move to another state far south (or further west) of New Jersey, I like to provide some little known facts about my home state.

State of New Jersey by an author (Wikipedia)
Non-Hispanic Whites were 58.9% of the population in 2011, down from 85% in 1970.

In 2010, unauthorized immigrants constituted an estimated 6.2% of the population. This was the fourth-highest percentage of any state in the country. There were an estimated 550,000 illegal immigrants in the state in 2010.

The United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2017, estimated New Jersey's population at 9,005,644, which represents an increase of 213,750, or 2.4%, since the last census in 2010. As of 2010, New Jersey was the eleventh-most populous state in the United States, and the most densely populated, at 1,185 residents per square mile (458 per km2), with most of the population residing in the counties surrounding New York City, Philadelphia, and along the eastern Jersey Shore, while the extreme southern and northwestern counties are relatively less dense overall. It is also the second wealthiest state according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The center of population for New Jersey is located in Middlesex County, in the town of Milltown, just east of the New Jersey Turnpike.

New Jersey is home to more scientists and engineers per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

On October 21, 2013, same-sex marriages commenced in New Jersey.

Race and ethnicity

New Jersey is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse states in the country. As of 2011, 56.4% of New Jersey's children under the age of one belonged to racial or ethnic minority groups, meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white. It has the second largest Jewish population by percentage (after New York);the second largest Muslim population by percentage (after Michigan); the largest population of Peruvian Americans in the United States; the largest population of Cubans outside of Florida; the third highest Asian population by percentage; and the third highest Italian population by percentage, according to the 2000 Census. African Americans, Hispanics (Puerto Ricans and Dominicans), West Indians, Arabs, and Brazilian and Portuguese Americans are also high in number. New Jersey has the third highest Asian Indian population of any state by absolute numbers and the highest by percentage, with Bergen County home to America's largest Malayali community. Overall, New Jersey has the third largest Korean population, with Bergen County home to the highest Korean concentration per capita of any U.S. county (6.9% in 2011). New Jersey also has the fourth largest Filipino population, and fourth largest Chinese population, per the 2010 U.S. Census. The five largest ethnic groups in 2000 were: Italian (17.9%), Irish (15.9%), African (13.6%), German (12.6%), Polish (6.9%).

Newark was the fourth poorest of U.S. cities with over 250,000 residents in 2008, but New Jersey as a whole had the second-highest median household income as of 2014. This is largely because so much of New Jersey consists of suburbs, most of them affluent, of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey is also the most densely populated state and the only state that has had every one of its counties deemed "urban" as defined by the Census Bureau's Combined Statistical Area.

Bergen County is home to all of the nation's top ten municipalities by percentage of Korean population, led by Palisades Park (above), a borough where Koreans comprise the majority (52%) of the population.

India Square, Jersey City, known as Little Bombay, home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere. Immigrants from India constituted the largest foreign-born nationality in New Jersey in 2013.

In 2010, 6.2% of its population was reported as under age 5, 23.5% under 18, and 13.5% were 65 or older; and females made up approximately 51.3% of the population.

A study by the Pew Research Center found that in 2013, New Jersey was the only U.S. state in which immigrants born in India constituted the largest foreign-born nationality, representing roughly 10% of all foreign-born residents in the state.