Big Brother to Focus on Facebook, Twitter

A new approach to public surveillance is being rolled out by the US government in yet another move that pits national security against individual rights to privacy.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced it is ramping up plans to monitor social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook, and the organization is now finalizing guidelines that are designed to ensure department agents do not violate social media users’ rights to privacy while maintaining efficiency and effectiveness.

DHS officials say the move was spurred by the actions taken by social media users that helped organize and assist recent anti-government uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. The positive aspects of revolution aside, IT security professionals took note that social-media site users provided a wealth of information in what is essentially a public forum.

The information available on social media sites goes far beyond the biographical. Web analytics methods typically used to measure website marketing performance could just as easily be used to measure discussion trends, find keyword similarities or track particular activities relating to a particular geographic location or political event.

Although the DHS announcement suggests this is the first time the domestic anti-terrorism organization has considered monitoring social media websites, it is not the case. Freedom of Information Act requests filed in 2010 revealed the DHS formed its Social Networking Monitoring Center (SNMC) in…

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3 Comments

  1. Bob Marshall

    November 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

    How how much did our government contribute to the uprisings in the middle east and in African nations?

  2. RobertNroland

    November 10, 2011 at 8:55 am

    America’s Gestapo police state. Did anyone ever doubt its coming ? Fools.

  3. Rwolf

    October 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

    America is Dying. Can You Survive the Coming U.S. Police Surveillance State?

    Once U.S. Government completes building its multi-billion dollar Surveillance State that will spy on Americans’ every move, it is problematic some in government and the private security complex that (profit) selling the government domestic spying systems, will want to insure the Surveillance Police State is made permanent. That can only be achieved by revoking U.S. Citizens’ right to Vote; Americans could not successfully resist politically or otherwise. Congress has approved thousands of police drones to spy on Americans’. The coming Surveillance Police State will have the ability to read your private email, record your phone calls, track your Internet Activity, spy inside your house, literally follow your every move. TSA can search Americans using any mode of transportation.
    The Military and U.S. Government can now use The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone on U.S. Soil (without evidence) on mere suspicion he or she supported hostilities or terrorism or is a Belligerent; Americans can be—indefinitely detained without right to an attorney or trial because of their alleged associations: Expect in the future, Americans will be afraid to involve themselves with grass-roots causes. Under NDAA, U.S. Government or the President can charge any activity, statement, communication supported or (was directly aligned) with an individual or group that government deemed a threat to National Security to order someone’s arrest; including journalists.
    Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 opened the door for corrupt U.S. Government agents, police and provocateurs to falsify uncorroborated reports and statements to target any American, group or organization for arrest and indefinite detention. Expect that a U.S. Police Surveillance Government may take out of context, any innocent—hastily written email, fax or phone call to allege a crime or violation was committed to arrest a Citizen, order seizure of their property. There are more than 350 laws and violations that can subject property to government asset forfeiture. Government civil asset forfeiture requires no one be convicted, only a civil preponderance of evidence for police to forfeit property, little more than hearsay. The “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” (effectively eliminated) the “five year statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture: the statute now runs five years (from the date) police allege they “learned” an asset became subject to forfeiture. Under the Patriot Act the Government does not have to disclose the evidence used to forfeit your property. Hidden witnesses can be paid part of the assets their secret testimony causes to be forfeited.
    It is problematic a U.S. Police Surveillance Government State will use no-warrant-spying on Americans’ (electronic, phone and other activities) to arrest and blackmail Americans, including corporations in the manner Hitler used the Gestapo to spy and extort support for the Nazi fascist government: Hitler strong-armed parliament to pass his 1933 Discriminatory Decrees that suspended the Constitutional Freedoms of German Citizens. A Nazi Government threat of “Asset Forfeiture” of an individual or corporation’s property was usually sufficient to ensure Nazi support.
    Some U.S. corporations and their operatives work so closely with U.S. Government and law enforcement to spy on, arrest Americans and forfeit their property, they appear merged with U.S. Government—similar to Hitler’s SS and (private secret police) the Gestapo that merged its police and spy activities with the Reich Government to target German Citizens for arrest and property forfeiture.
    Increasing the U.S. Government and police are using The War on Terrorism to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, to spy on Americans, record without probable cause or warrants Americans’ electronic communications, financial transactions, phone calls, private emails—track Citizens in real time. Congress and Federal Courts have so weakened the Fourth Amendment e.g. The USA Patriot Act, that Government and law enforcement (without probable cause or warrants) search Citizens’ homes and confidential information in hopes of finding evidence to prosecute Americans in criminal, Civil and Asset Forfeiture Proceedings.
    With the coming U.S. Police Surveillance State expect higher unemployment, the economy to stagnate and huge increases in federal taxes to support the Surveillance State. Government employees will fare better, paid higher salaries and more benefits compared to most working Americans spied on by Government. Often only businesses and individuals connected to the police state government can get government contracts; most everyone else is frozen out.
    Historically unhappy Citizens that fear a Government Police Surveillance State won’t risk investing—in homes, income producing property or buy a business that a police state government can confiscate (without due process). For example U.S. Government can use the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 to charge without evidence that all of a Citizen’s assets are subject to civil government forfeiture under the USA Patriot Act charging a Citizen supported an undefined terrorist act or hostilities, or charge without providing evidence a Citizen’s tenant, visitor or employee committed a crime or violation that made their real property or business subject to government forfeiture. Should a Total Surveillance State take over America, generally a Total Police State follows: expect most tangible assets owned by Americans will depreciate, become difficult to sell. Once large numbers of Citizens fear a police State government, they generally buy only products that are absolutely necessary. Historically: Expect corporations and individuals that are protected by a Police Surveillance State that don’t have to fear government or police confiscating their property, will hugely profit purchasing distressed Americans’ real and personal property and government confiscated property. That happened in Nazi Germany after Hitler started enforcing laws he got passed similar to The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that Pres. Obama signed among others.
    It appears problematic at some point, Americans won’t be allowed employment or the right to operate a business unless approved by Homeland Security; and Homeland will prohibit without explanation Americans using pubic and private transportation without Government approval.
    According to news reports, it appears U.S. Government may have its Total Surveillance Police State mostly completed by the end of 2014.
    Read Oct. 8, 2012: FBI begins installation of $1 billion face recognition system across America
    http://rt.com/usa/news/fbi-recognition-system-ngi-640/
    Read July 26, 2012: Pentagon Will Pay Univ. to Develop Powerful Facial Recog. Software
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/item/12216-pentagon-will-pay-univ-to-develop-powerful-facial-recog-software

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