Law enforcement is not saying a lot about its social surveillance, but examples keep coming to light. The Wall Street Journal reported this summer that state revenue agents have been searching for tax scofflaws by mining information on MySpace and Facebook. In October, the F.B.I. searched the New York home of a man suspected of helping coordinate protests at the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh by sending out messages over Twitter.
In some cases, the government appears to be engaged in deception. The Boston Globe recently quoted a Massachusetts district attorney as saying that some police officers were going undercover on Facebook as part of their investigations.
Wired magazine reported last month that In-Q-Tel, an investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, has put money into Visible Technologies, a software company that crawls across blogs, online forums, and open networks like Twitter and YouTube to monitor what is being said.
Cool. I feel like I’m part of a Hollywood dystopian movie…except this time it’s not the Big Corporations playing the part of the bad guys with Big Government coming to the rescue. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished since the Constitution was signed.
People who work for the IRS and say they “enjoy their jobs” just dropped 10 levels on the respect scale. How do they sleep at night?
- Twitter, Iranian Reformer Sites Hacked by ‘Iranian Cyber Army’ (blogs.wsj.com)
- Are you safe online? (socialmediaclub.org)
- Facebook Data Mining: Truth in Association? (readwriteweb.com)
- Lou Dobbs: Gunshots Fired At Me, My Wife, My House (huffingtonpost.com)
- Keith Urban learns it’s hard to shop for loved ones when paparazzi are documenting your every move (nashvillegab.com)