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The FBI vs the FTC: the battle for user privacy in social media

February 1, 2012

Why should you care that the FBI wants to better reap intelligence? The agency’s RFI comes swaddled in the dialect of benevolent care for national security. From the document:

Intelligence analysts will monitor social media looking for threatening responses to news of the day such as major policy announcements by the federal government, for responses to natural disasters like an earthquake or hurricane, or indicators of pending adverse events.

Yes, of course we want our intelligence agencies to have advanced intelligence when it relates to terrorism or natural disasters. But do we really want these agencies to have better ways to pinpoint us if they associate our online personas with given keywords, rightly or wrongly drawing assumptions and gathering ever-more information that can and will be used against us in a court of law?

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