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  (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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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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