The CIA Takes to Twitter and Facebook
Posted on Nov 4, 2011
Is the CIA following your tweets? Or perhaps it “Likes” your latest thoughts while showering that you have posted on Facebook. These startling considerations may apply only if you’re overseas—or so the agency says.
The CIA granted The Associated Press access to the inner chambers of its geek division, otherwise known as the Open Source Center, which tracks the opinions, shoutouts, potentially clandestine communiques and, no doubt, a lot of nonsense zinging around the rest of the world via social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. The center tracks as many as 5 million tweets a day, but the emphasis is on getting a read on local reactions to world events and just on the zeitgeist in general. According to the CIA. —KA
AP via Yahoo News:
The center had started focusing on social media after watching the Twitter-sphere rock the Iranian regime during the Green Revolution of 2009, when thousands protested the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power. “Farsi was the third largest presence in social media blogs at the time on the Web,” Naquin said.
The center’s analysis ends up in President Barack Obama’s daily intelligence briefing in one form or another, almost every day.
[...] Sites like Facebook and Twitter also have become a key resource for following a fast-moving crisis such as the riots that raged across Bangkok in April and May of last year, the center’s deputy director said. The Associated Press agreed not to identify him because he sometimes still works undercover in foreign countries.