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Abby Martin takes with a look at America's history of government infiltration in news media citing the CIA's secret cold-war program dubbed Operation Mockingbird.
Department of Homeland Security to begin social media monitoring program
The government may soon be following your Facebook updates without you realizing it
by Fox Van Allen | Last updated 7:29PM EST on January 25, 2012
If you're unsettled by the idea of Google maintaining a massive database of your every move on the internet, you're sure to be upset by this: Your government plans to start stalking your every move on Twitter and Facebook to make sure you're not a terrorist.
The creepy, Big Brother-esque program hasn't started yet — the Department of Homeland Security has only begun seeking bids from contractors to build the spy network. But according to a government report, the DHS wishes to conduct "publicly available social media monitoring" effort to detect threats, vulnerabilities, and "bad actors." In other words, the U.S. government wants to get the bad guys' geotagged status updates — whomever the government determines those bad guys to be.
By Ellen Nakashima, Published: January 13
Civil liberties advocates are raising concerns that the Department of Homeland Security’s three-year-old practice of monitoring social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter could extend to tracking public reaction to news events and reports that “reflect adversely” on the U.S. government.
The activists, who obtained DHS documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, say one document in particular, a February 2010 analyst handbook, touts as a good example of “capturing public reaction” the monitoring of Facebook and other sites for public sentiment about the possible transfer of Guantanamo detainees to a Michigan prison.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say they're already spying on social media...
Visible Technologies, a company that monitors online social activity and packages the findings for clients, has forged a "strategic partnership" with In-Q-Tel, the CIA's not-for-profit investment arm, to give the organization insight into social media.
The deal was first reported on Monday by Wired.
According to Visible Technologies, In-Q-Tel is also investing in the company through a "technology development agreement." It did not release more details than that.
However, examining Visible Technologies' work may offer insight into what In-Q-Tel has in mind.