Why does techtrack.gov care about my web site?

UPDATE [2006/08/08]: see here.

This morning, a server located at IP address paid a visit to my web site. A reverse DNS lookup shows that this IP address resolves to a domain called techtrack.gov.

I have never heard of techtrack.gov, so I tried visiting their site... no web server. I tried a ping... no response. I looked at the browser details... MSIE 6.0 on Windows 2000, resolution unknown, JavaScript disabled, no referring link. It all seems so generic. It must be a robot or spider. Now I'm curious...

A little more digging and I found that the IP address is in Arlington, Virginia. Hey wait a minute, I've been there! It's right across the river from Washington, D.C. and there's a really big five-sided building there. It's shaped just like a pentagon. In fact, I think they call it The Pentagon. That's right, the home of the U.S. Department of Defense. Why would anyone there care about my web site?

Next, I tried a Google search on "techtrack.gov" but there was not much to be found; the search results were nearly all web logs. Apparently, I'm not the only site they visit. Interesting.

Then I stumbled upon this little gem:

Click on image to read it

Whoa. The "Terrorist Screening Center" has an email address on that domain?! This is getting a little scary.

So I had a look at the last few articles that I posted on my web site:

1. The one last night used words like "kidnapping" and "murder" and "$10 million" and "bank" and "police" and "safety." But it was in reference to a method to reduce robberies at bank machines.

2. Earlier in the day, I wrote an article that included "George Bush" and "Censors." Ah, I see where this is going now. That article had to do with Bill Maher's show not being broadcast in Canada.

3. Well, this was just a picture of my car. It's hard to tell from the picture, but there were definitely no explosives hidden in the trunk. And that's a fire hydrant in the background, not a rocket launcher, although I can understand how image analyzing software could be fooled.

4. My article on Google search results for "trotting out that tired old horse" included words like and "demented" and "Middle East" and "gas prices" and "Bush's approval ratings" and "anti-democratic" and "Iraq" and (I think this is the one that did it) "the corrupt, arrogant and incestuous leadership presently infesting our government." These were all just random quotes from other web sites that used the term "trotting out that tired old horse."

Further down, we have "Glock 9 mm semi-automatic handgun" and "an innocent person dying" and so on and so forth.

And when I said "cutting down the bushes on the south lawn" I was talking about gardening! Really! How else could anyone interpret that?

Okay, I just made that last one up. But you get the idea. It's all very innocent, if you read the contexts in which these phrases are used. In most cases, I didn't even write them, they're just quotes from search engine results.

So I don't mean to sound like some sort of conspiracy theorist wingnut, but I'm forced to ask, is techtrack.gov some sort of automated, keyword-triggered, terrorist-website-sniffing machine? And what does it want with me? I'm not even in the U.S., I'm Canadian. I am not now, nor have I ever been, affiliated with any terrorist organization, and I have no desire to inflict harm on anybody. Except maybe people who block the supermarket aisles by leaving their grocery cart right in the middle of the aisle and disappear. I mean, WTF?? But I digress.

How about you. Are you being watched?

UPDATE: I should have looked at my web logs more closely, because less than a minute earlier, someone from, host name = techtrack.gov, ISP = Gray Hawk Systems/doj-fbi, visited my Washington, D.C. pictures page based on an MSN search query for pictures of Washington, D.C. which contains "sniper" and "national security" and "terrorists" but again the context is all very innocent.


Anonymous said…
I TOLD you not to send that email about the bomb without encrypting it. Maybe next time you will listen.

Love Always,
Sassan Sanei said…
Oh GREAT that's JUST GREAT now I have to show up EARLY at the airport for every FREAKING flight I ever take the rest of my LIFE. Thanks a LOT.
neal said…
at least we didn't tell them about how you smuggle cocaine , child pornography, and firearms in your colon

(I swear it's in there, you just need to search reeeeeeeal deep)

have fun with those border crossings =)
Odat said…
omg....I see what you mean...i took the first and last letter of each paragraph of my blog and came up with "we're watching you" !
Anonymous said…
You may as well turn yourself in now Sassan. Your secret is out.
Sassan Sanei said…
I didn't know so many comedians read my blog. I just want to say that it's entirely coincidental that if you rearrange the letters in "I'M SASSAN SANEI" you get "I MEAN ASSASSIN." And that's all I have to say on the subject.
Deb said…
Shutting up now.


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