Posts tagged big brother

 
AP Exclusive: CIA following Twitter, Facebook


McLEAN, Va. (AP) — In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day.
At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the “vengeful librarians” also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.
From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt.
Yes, they saw the uprising in Egypt coming; they just didn’t know exactly when revolution might hit, said the center’s director, Doug Naquin.
The center already had “predicted that social media in places like Egypt could be a game-changer and a threat to the regime,” he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press at the center. CIA officials said it was the first such visit by a reporter the agency has ever granted.



read the rest of the article at Yahoo! News

AP Exclusive: CIA following Twitter, Facebook

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day.

At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the “vengeful librarians” also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.

From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt.

Yes, they saw the uprising in Egypt coming; they just didn’t know exactly when revolution might hit, said the center’s director, Doug Naquin.

The center already had “predicted that social media in places like Egypt could be a game-changer and a threat to the regime,” he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press at the center. CIA officials said it was the first such visit by a reporter the agency has ever granted.

read the rest of the article at Yahoo! News

Google: Government Requests for Online Data Spike

Every six months, Google releases a Transparency Report to show how many government requests it receives to take down content or provide information about its users.

Google complies in a majority of cases, but not all. For example, the company writes that it refused a law enforcement agency request to remove a YouTube video showing police brutality.

Via NextGov:

Governments around the world more and more are asking Google for information, a trend the Internet giant says highlights the need for new rules governing online data.

In the first six months of 2011, government agencies in the United States, for example, made 5,950 requests for information from 11,057 accounts at Google and its video service YouTube, according to numbers released on Tuesday.

That’s an average of 31 requests a day, and amounts to a 29 percent increase over the 4,601 requests of the previous six months. Google says it complied with 93 percent of the 2011 requests.

For the first time, Google also released data on the number of times foreign governments asked it to remove online content. Brazil topped the list with 224 requests, while Germany, which has strict hate-speech laws, asked Google to remove 2,405 separate items. Google complied with most of the requests from both countries.

From January to June 2011 in the United States, there were 92 requests to remove 757 items. Google says it complied with 63 percent of those inquiries.

Police buy software to map suspects' digital movements

Consider yourself mapped, tracked and hacked.

Via the Guardian:

Britain’s largest police force is using software that can map nearly every move suspects and their associates make in the digital world, prompting an outcry from civil liberties groups.

The Metropolitan police has bought Geotime, a security programme used by the US military, which shows an individual’s movements and communications with other people on a three-dimensional graphic. It can be used to collate information gathered from social networking sites, satellite navigation equipment, mobile phones, financial transactions and IP network logs.

Police have confirmed its purchase and declined to rule out its use in investigating public order disturbances.

And let’s not forget that these technologies make their way into — let’s call them — less democratic countries.

Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations, their communications with each other, and their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US Intelligence.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange calls Facebook the “most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented.”

Russia Today, WikiLeaks revelations only tip of iceberg.

Don’t believe Assange? Might we turn your attention to the Onion

Under the emergency powers provisions of the Telecoms Act, the Egyptian authorities can instruct the mobile networks of Mobinil, Etisalat and Vodafone to send messages to the people of Egypt. They have used this since the start of the protests. These messages are not scripted by any of the mobile network operators and we do not have the ability to respond to the authorities on their content.

Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable. We have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator.
Statement by Vodaphone confirming that Egypt forced the company to send pro-Government SMS messages.