FBI Ramping Up Surveillance of Social Media

Do you use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter? If so you should know that the Stasi is watching your every post:

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has quietly released details of plans to continuously monitor the global output of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, offering a rare glimpse into an activity that the FBI and other government agencies are reluctant to discuss publicly. The plans show that the bureau believes it can use information pulled from social media sites to better respond to crises, and maybe even to foresee them.

The information comes from a document released on 19 January looking for companies who might want to build a monitoring system for the FBI. It spells out what the bureau wants from such a system and invites potential contractors to reply by 10 February.

The bureau’s wish list calls for the system to be able to automatically search “publicly available” material from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for keywords relating to terrorism, surveillance operations, online crime and other FBI missions. Agents would be alerted if the searches produce evidence of “breaking events, incidents, and emerging threats”.

Of course what information is “publicly available” to you and “publicly available” to the government are entirely different. It’s a well known fact that many, if not most, popular Internet sites share their information with the state. Be careful what you post online because there is no such thing as private data.

One thought on “FBI Ramping Up Surveillance of Social Media”

  1. Wow that is actually what I do in the private sector (but not for the government, we are more interested in trends for advertising).

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