Big Brother Is Following You on Twitter, And Might Be Pretending To Be Your Facebook Friend

In 1984 everyone was under surveillance as your television watched you. Things turned out a little different than how Orwell envisioned. Instead of needing to spy on people, many people are voluntarily posting tons of personal information onto a vast computer system known as the internet. Big Brother is watching you on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. From an editorial in The New York Times:

The government is increasingly monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for tax delinquents, copyright infringers and political protesters. A public interest group has filed a lawsuit to learn more about this monitoring, in the hope of starting a national discussion and modifying privacy laws as necessary for the online era.

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.

This month the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law sued the Department of Defense, the C.I.A. and other federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act to learn more about their use of social networking sites.

The suit seeks to uncover what guidelines these agencies have about this activity, including information about whether agents are permitted to use fake identities or to engage in subterfuge, such as tricking people into accepting Facebook friend requests.

We are in a different world than Orwell envisioned, and a different world from when the privacy laws were written. If someone is dumb enough to post about breaking the law on a public site that might be comparable to admitting one’s crime in a public square and the police might not be blamed for listening in and taking action. Things get more complicated when police enter closed sites under false pretenses.

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7 Comments

  1. 1
    Old Mac Donald says:

    » Big Brother Is Following You on Twitter, And Might Be Pretending …: Wired magazine reported last month that In-Q-Tel http://url4.eu/vOe8

  2. 2
    KEVIN DUNSFORD says:

    » Big Brother Is Following You on Twitter, And Might Be Pretending …: Eclectic Radical: There are people who are… http://bit.ly/6DQmCh

  3. 3
    Ivan Cabrera says:

    » Big Brother Is Following You on Twitter, And Might Be Pretending … http://bit.ly/7y3KR5

  4. 4
    saidthehippy says:

    I remember a time when America wasn’t  communist.In the 60s &  70s ,We would have  never imagine that we would end up worse than Russia.When we watched TV and see people that were afraid to say anything against the government.   And how the KGB did not need probable cause  to take any action they wanted.Now with all the drug test at work,that we have of innocent people  .The cops on the tv doing as they want.Such as murder beatings ,with no punishment. Oh ya they loose there job,Now thats Justice.The government will pass a law to do as they want,To get around the constitution.They can arrest you for being in a high traffic drug area,and being there is your only crime.They cant get a warrant to serch your car , so they take a dog around it .If this dog smells something they call this probable cause.I do be leave that is a search in itself.For that dog is a police officer useing a tool ” Its nose ” to search your car.If not why is it that if you shoot that same dog you have shot an officer of the law.Back in the day ,The people of the USA would not tolerate the crap that the government does today.The younger generation has lost there freedom little by little.And the ones who realize whats been taken are afraid ,Or fell like they would be standing alone.And they would.I’m not saying riots were the right thing to do.But it did show that the people had some fight and beleaver in our right to freedom.At the rate we are losing the freedoms we once had,And no fight left in us.Its only a matter of time,That we will set a new standard for Communism far worse than Russia ever dreamed of. When cops can unload 15 rounds each untill there guns are unloaded into some person in a car they have been chasing. They say that there life was in danger.When all they haft to do is take 1 steep to the side instead of jumping out in front of the car.Well i guess The next person that runs a red light and don’t stop will know that its a death sentence because  ,You better do as the US  government says   or else.All I can say is OUR FREEDOM HAS BEEN A LONG TIME GONE !!!!!!

  5. 5
    nagla allamnagla_87 says:

    » Big Brother Is Following You on Twitter, And Might Be Pretending … http://bit.ly/7nlThh

  6. 6
    perry brown says:

    » Big Brother Is Following You on Twitter, And Might Be Pretending … http://is.gd/5md8T

  7. 7
    Mechelle Busby says:

    » Big Brother Is Following You on Twitter, And Might Be Pretending … http://bit.ly/65QCbq

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