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Print 13 comment(s) - last by RivuxGamma.. on Oct 28 at 6:25 PM


  (Source: Earth Hope Network)

mypre.com

  (Source: NY Times)
U.S. Federal agents encouraged to "friend" unsuspecting residents.

Big Brother recently made headlines for tracking a U.S. citizen, by placing a GPS device into his vehicle.  Now, a privacy watchdog group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has uncovered documents indicating that U.S. government agencies are monitoring social networking sites and tracking public communication online.

The EFF found that the Homeland Security Department monitored public online communication during the period of President Obama's inauguration.  In addition, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a unit of Homeland Security, is currently conducting an online effort that actively encourages agents to "friend" residents that they suspect may be involved in fraud.

Once a user posts online, government agencies create a public record and timeline of their activities according to reports

A 2008 memo (PDF) from the Department of Homeland Security stated that the agency is relying on people's "narcissistic tendencies" -- citing their need to amass a large group of friends by accepting friend requests from people that they don't know.

"This provides an excellent vantage point for FDNS (Office of Fraud Detection and National Security) to observe the daily life of beneficiaries and petitioners who are suspected of fraudulent activities," the memo said.

In addition to monitoring the obvious targets -- Facebook, Twitter and MySpace -- the agencies have recently focused on YouTube, Blogger, Digg, Craigslist and Wikipedia.  Flickr, MiGente, BlackPlanet, NPR, and DailyKos are online sites that have been monitored in the past. 

The EFF obtained its information through a freedom of information request.


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Shouldn't that be a picture of Obama?
By Denigrate on 10/18/2010 8:32:10 AM , Rating: 2
The guy who promised the most transparent presidency has given us one of the most closed presidencies on record. I'm sure he's fully on board with monitoring of your private life since he's a National Socialist.




RE: Shouldn't that be a picture of Obama?
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/18/2010 12:42:47 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The guy who promised the most transparent presidency has given us one of the most closed presidencies on record. I'm sure he's fully on board with monitoring of your private life since he's a National Socialist.


Why not both? Both Obama and his predecessor supported a level of legalized violation of privacy rights in the name of "national security" that would make even the worst ultra-rights or ultra-lefts proud.

I suggest this image:
h ttp://priceofo il.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/obama-bush .jpg


By MrBlastman on 10/18/2010 2:01:07 PM , Rating: 2
Jason's right--they are both guilty of trying to rape us of our basic rights and freedoms.

People have forgotten that our civil liberties, those guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights, are among the most fundamental things that are of utmost importance to us. They saw this as a fact over 200 years ago, why can't people see it anymore? :(


RE: Shouldn't that be a picture of Obama?
By Denigrate on 10/19/2010 9:41:30 AM , Rating: 2
Current big brother = Obama admin, and they are arguably worse than the previuos admin in wanting to take your freedoms. At least the Bush admin told you up front which freedoms they were taking. Obama admin just takes them, and you have to figure it out later.


RE: Shouldn't that be a picture of Obama?
By wiz220 on 10/19/2010 7:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
And exactly what freedoms have simply been "taken" by Obama only to be figured out later? From what I've seen news outlets were right on top of it. Obama and Bush are going about things in roughly the same way, meaning that they only came clean or gave any effort to explain what they were doing after people started asking questions.


By nstott on 10/26/2010 3:32:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And exactly what freedoms have simply been "taken" by Obama only to be figured out later?

We're still figuring that out and will get back to you later.


By RivuxGamma on 10/28/2010 6:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
ACTA.

It's a foot in the door to put the other foot in your butt.


On the fence - Sway me!
By Schrag4 on 10/18/2010 11:30:20 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, on the one hand, I don't like Big Brother peering into my life. Not because I'm doing anything wrong, but someday the govt might change their minds about exactly who they consider a threat.

On the other hand, FaceBook? Really? Are people seriously complaining that they don't have a public place where they can plan to commit crimes?

So, as the subject suggests, help me form an opinion by expressing yours. Should the govt be monitoring these so obviously public social networking sites, weeding out the so very stupid criminals up-front? Or should we ALL be scared that some day Big Brother might target us because we mention (in a totally non-threatening way) we don't like some new law or we don't like how someone new to some office is running things?




RE: On the fence - Sway me!
By raumkrieger on 10/18/2010 1:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
This is what struck me as odd
quote:
the agency is relying on people's "narcissistic tendencies" -- citing their need to amass a large group of friends by accepting friend requests from people that they don't know.


Really? Friending people you don't know? You deserve to be spammed at best, scammed at worst. The number of facebook friends I have are only in the double digits, and I know them all personally.
This doesn't excuse the government's snooping, but people shouldn't be giving them the opportunity in the first place.


RE: On the fence - Sway me!
By geddarkstorm on 10/25/2010 2:40:59 PM , Rating: 3
Dude, I'm exactly like you, but do you know how many people fit that quote to a T? An order of magnitude more than those that are like us, at least.

It really is an easy, brilliant way to monitor people, since we're in the age of "can't shut up, must post every trivial fact of life and location RIGHT NOW.. oh and on multiple sites". In fact, in no way does this violate anyone's privacy either.


Some people need to be monitored
By masamasa on 10/18/10, Rating: 0
By AEvangel on 10/20/2010 10:54:19 AM , Rating: 2
Your a moron....plain and simply your reasoning is so flawed it's not even funny.


RE: Some people need to be monitored
By ppardee on 10/20/2010 8:38:04 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of people say that we shouldn't worry about privacy unless we have something to hide. If the government were completely clean and benign, you'd be right. Unfortunately, the government (regardless of where you are) is hopelessly corrupt.

Lets say, for example, that the government has gone completely rogue and is detaining people for being white/rich/conservative/Christian/capitalist/enviro nmentally unfriendly. Take your pick. All are viable targets for the progressive movement. And you are organizing a resistance via the internet. You are protecting the constitution, but you will lose the fight because you gave up your privacy because you had nothing to hide.

ALWAYS think about the worst case scenario when the government is involved. I promise you they'll take it there eventually.

On a less paranoid note, members of Congress, their families and staff have been engaging in what would normally be considered insider trading. Do you really want them to start pulling info from corporations to become richer and more powerful? It all starts somewhere.


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