Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tracking Your Life on Social Media

Social media is a way of life for people around the globe.  But, have you ever wondered who is reading your posts and tweets besides your friends and followers?  The answer may surprise you...or not!

"The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) just released DHS internal documents about the surveillance of social media and the information collected daily. EPIC gained access to the documents with a lawsuit, pushing the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents included hundreds of keywords that the government tracks.

The Department of Homeland Security initiative started in February 2011. The department aimed to use social media to stay in-the-know about breaking news as it’s happening. Tweets mentioning “attack” or “shooting” could, for instance, alert officials disturbances to national security right away. “Social media outlets provide instant feedback and alert capabilities to rapidly changing or newly occurring situations,” states U.S. Homeland Security internal documents. “The [Media Monitoring Capability team] works to summarize the extensive information from these resources to provide a well rounded operational picture for the Department of Homeland Security.” (Read more here on Mashable.com)

Dean Obeidallah, a comedian and former attorney, humorously equates the Homeland Security word watch list with George Carlin's list of words you can't say on TV from the 1970's.  "Now it appears there are more than 500 words you shouldn't say on Twitter or Facebook unless you want to be flagged by the Department of Homeland Security. There is a surveillance program the agency quietly began in February 2011 to monitor social media, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center."  (Read more on CNN.com)
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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