"What did you do today to prep?" Probably everyone who frequents a self-sufficiency forum has seen, and perhaps contributed to threads like this. Even on sites that often discuss NDAA and other government intrusions into our freedom and privacy, there is no lack of activity on threads that ask for a running account of how members prep.
It would seem that people like to rant about government intrusion, but don't actually believe it exists in their little corner of the world. A guy posts about how Obama is going to reinstitute the AWB and federal shock troops will kick in doors of suspected non-compliers to seize guns and ammunition, kill the dog, etc. Then the same day, he will post in the "what did you do..." thread to say that he bought another case of 7.62x39 ammo. But not to worry; at the end of that post our illustrious patriot adds something like, "Too bad I can only use it for barter, since I lost all of my guns except an old single-shot shotgun in that boat accident last year!"
Don't be that guy. Seriously.
I know a lot of people buy guns through face-to-face sales rather than leave a paper trail at the gun dealer, for fear that the ATF will start watching them because they bought three AR-15 lowers and a Glock. Or they go shopping in a town 50 miles away and pay cash when they stock up on food and/or canning supplies, so they won't be on the FEMA raid-dar (see what I did, there?) when the next hurricane comes to town. But the thing about those federal agencies is that they don't have the manpower to waste on every person who buys a case of ammo. There are three hundred million people in the USA, and an awful lot of them buy guns, ammo and food.
You have a lot more to worry about from your local sheriff's department. They don't have the resources to keep up with who bought three guns at the local gunshop last month or had a couple cases of ammo dropped off by UPS yesterday, either. But think about this hypothetical scenario: you are a sheriff or police chief, and you have the opportunity to receive a hundred thousand dollars in federal funding for your department next year, earmarked for fighting domestic terrorism. But to qualify for the funds, you must have at least one (or five, or ten) DT case(s) this year. What would you do? What some of them would do is put a guy on the Internet to join every possible prepper forum, and find members who are in his jurisdiction. Then just log all posts from those members, get to know them through hometown subforums, face-to-face barter exchange, etc. That way they can create a ready-made pool of potential subjects for DT investigation.
Now don't take this the wrong way. I am absolutely not saying that just because a member of a preparedness forum happens to work for your local sheriff's department, he is automatically your enemy. In fact, he is very likely to be a friend and an asset to the community. Also, cops have a right to prepare their families for rough times, too.
What I am saying is that any thread that gleans information from people is almost certain to be watched, even if the person who created the thread had good intentions. I can think of few more likely ways to end up on somebody's watch list.