Posts tagged MCO435
Big Brother Is Watching Your Tweets…
It started with businesses concerned about their brands. Intelligence agencies have moved into it, raising alarms among privacy advocates. And many other government agencies are just beginning to explore its potential. It is social media analytics.
Companies and government agencies alike are using tools to sweep the Internet — blogs, websites, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter feeds — to find out what people are saying about, well, just about anything. The companies are generally interested in complaints about products or looking for sales leads. Intelligence agencies are looking for, among other things, warnings about potential terrorist threats.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation posted a Request for Information last month calling on IT companies to demonstrate their ability to design software for monitoring, mapping and analyzing social media.
The RFI, posted to the government’s Federal Business Opportunities website in January, reveals the FBI’s desire for software capable of monitoring social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to provide alerts and analysis for publicly posted information. The software would require the ability to:
- “Geo-spatially locate bad actors or groups and analyze their movements, vulnerabilities, limitations and possible adverse actions”
- “Detect instances of deception in intent or action by bad actors”
- “Develop pattern-of-life matrices to support law enforcement planning and enforcement operations.”
In fact, the FBI is not the only US government agency currently working to monitor online social media;
- In October 2010 the Electronic Frontier Foundationobtained documentson social network surveillance under the Freedom of Information Act showing that the Department of Homeland Security has established a “Social Networking Monitoring Center” for the collection and analysis of online public communications.
- Last year, the Electronic Privacy Information Center obtainedmore FOIA documentsregarding the DHS social media surveillance, showing that the department has contracted General Dynamics to monitor social networks and even the comment sections of various news websites for “media reports that reflect adversely on the US Government [or] DHS.”
- Also last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New Yorkissued a Request for Proposalfor “Sentiment Analysis and Social Media Monitoring” software. The request called on companies to develop software to monitor social media such as tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube comments to analyze what people are thinking and saying about the United States’ privately-owned central bank.
- In February of last yearit was revealedthat the US Air Force had solicited “persona management software” from contractors through an FBO request. The contract called for vendors to develop software which could allow up to 50 users to manage 500 online personas, which would be created “with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent.” The request also called for virtual private servers in specific geographic locations that could allow the social media persona to appear to be from a different part of the globe. When news of the proposal broke and several large websites began to draw attention to it, it was quickly taken offline.
- Last July, DARPA, the Pentagon’s research project wing, announced a “Social Media in Strategic Communication” program. The announcement included language specifically calling for the ability to “influence operations” in “the environment in which [the Pentagon] operates,” meaning that it will be used to launch “countermessaging” campaigns online, supposedly to combat the spread of information harmful to the Pentagon’s interests.
- Last month’s FBI request for information, too, crosses the line from passive monitoring into active operations. One of the desired attributes of the software that the FBI wants to develop is the ability to “predict likely developments in the situation or future actions taken by bad actors” by analyzing patterns and associations in the target’s online communications.
- Once envisioned as ascience-fiction scenario, America’s top law enforcement agency is now attempting to integrate pre-crime detection into their social media analysis.
Currently, according to the law, government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements. And now, our government is planning to monitor your speech and track your activities using social media analytics.
This is the bizarre — and scary — fact that now applies to the world in which we live. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, recently decided the government can monitor you virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant. And the same may very well apply to government’s monitoring your activities via social media. Certainly, it is obvious that our government will soon have (if not already) the ability to track everything you do on Facebook, Google, Twitter, Foursquare and the like.
It is clear, that when government is provided with a tool that allows it to spy on it’s citizens, that tool is abused to the detriment of the people 100% of the time.
So, the next time you feel like posting information to your Facebook page or your Twitter feed, know that Big Brother is will be watching.
FaceBook Is Not Your Friend
This Week’s Reason To Unfriend FaceBook
Facebook’s Terms Of Service are completely one-sided. Let’s just begin with the very basics. Facebook’s Terms Of Service state that not only do they own your data (section 2.1), but if you don’t keep it up to date and accurate (section 4.6), they can terminate your account (section 14). Facebook might try to argue that these terms are just protecting Facebook’s interests, and are not usually in practice, enforced, but in the context of their many other activities, such a defense is pretty weak. Simply put, there’s no good reason whatsoever to give them the benefit of the doubt. Essentially, Facebook sees their customers (meaning you) as unpaid employees for crowd-sourcing ad-targeting data.
Since Facebook’s CEO has a documented history of unethical behavior, there’s no reason to trust that Facebook will do the right thing when it comes to your personal information. From the very beginning of Facebook’s existence, there have been numerous questions about Zuckerberg’s ethics. According to BusinessInsider.com, Zuckerberg used Facebook user data to guess email passwords and read personal email in order to discredit his rivals. These allegations, albeit unproven and somewhat dated, nonetheless raise disturbing questions about the ethics of the CEO of the world’s largest social network. They’re particularly compelling given that Facebook chose to fork over $65M to settle a related lawsuit alleging that Zuckerberg had actually stolen the idea for Facebook itself.
As a matter of fact, Facebook has flat out declared war on privacy. Mark Zuckerberg, in defense of Facebook’s privacy changes last January stated;
”People have really gotten comfortable not only sharing more information and different kinds, but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that has evolved over time.” More recently, in introducing the Open Graph API: “… the default is now social.”
Essentially, this means Facebook not only wants to know everything about you, and own that data, but to make it available to everybody. Which would not, by itself, necessarily be unethical, except that Facebook can’t be trusted in the first place…
Is Facebook Turning Us Into Psychotics?
- Who takes a photo of every meal they eat to show to everyone they meet?
- Who offers up their newborn babies to strangers they’ve never met?
- Who drags their cats and their dogs around with them everywhere they go?
Well, a person afflicted with psychosis (a psychotic) certainly does…
And, thanks to Facebook, so do you….
In fact, thanks to the wonderful world of social media and networking sites, (the primary culprit being the omnipresent social gorilla known as Facebook), we’re only paying attention to the things we want to pay attention to. And that leaves us increasingly disconnected from our friends, family and co-workers as we simply turn to our devices when a conversation no longer interests us.
And that, apparently can be the cause of psychosis which, according to the American Heritage Science dictionary, is “a mental state characterized by the loss of contact with reality and the ability to think rationally.”
This mental state (a psychotic person often behaves inappropriately and is incapable of normal social functioning) has been attributed to frequent Facebook usage.
Case in point. Dr. Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, distributed surveys to 1,000 urban adolescents and his own 15-minute observations of 300 teenagers that were studying.
Among his findings were;
- Teenagers who use Facebook more often show narcissistic tendencies while young adults who have a strong Facebook presence show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania, and aggressive tendencies.
- Daily overuse of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of all children, preteens, and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more susceptible to future health problems.
- Facebook can be distracting and can negatively impact learning. Studies found that middle school, high school, and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period achieved lower grades.
There’s certainly plenty of data that supports Dr. Rosen’s findings. Surveys showing that we’re increasingly suffering from a variety of psychiatric ilnesses directly linked to the use and over-use of social media have become commonplace.
So, what’s to be done about it? Well, obviously it’s long overdue for us to actively pursue a more self-aware and well-adjusted relationship with technology, the internet and social media.
Or, you could just go on adding more photos to your collection of idiotic cat pictures on Facebook…
How To Make Facebook Friends In The Real World…
You are a student at Arizona State University…
You have 3 actual “real life” friends who tell you that you have the social skills of a South American Tree Sloth…And yet, according to Facebook, the world’s largest social network, you are a superstar with 5,000 Facebook friends….
You spend your days studying physics and alternate your evenings playing World of Warcraft (you are a level 80 Night Elf Druid) and posting photos of your pet gecko “Bilbo”, while randomly poking your small army of Facebook friends. (which is just too much poking really…)
Of course, you lead a completely normal, well-adjusted life…..
Until, you are invited to an “Event” in Downtown Tempe by one of your Facebook friends who invites people to events like a hyperactive spider monkey on Ritalin…
Friday night. 9pm. Mill Avenue.
You are standing in the middle of a crowded bar with a very large pink fizzy glass full of an unknown mixture of alcohol, crushed ice and food coloring…
You fail to comprehend why Tuesday would be considered fatter than any other day…
You spy a pretty blonde girl at the end of the bar. You approach and ask her if you were to “poke” her, would she reciprocate in kind and “poke” you too?
You are lying spread eagle on the floor of the bar. There is pink fizzy goo all over your brand new Star Wars T-Shirt. You feel the side of your face where there is a large red welt…
Remembering that “you only get a once in a lifetime opportunity so many times”, you make your way back over to the same pretty blonde girl and ask her if she would like to check out your “post”. You tell her that everyone likes your “post”, and you are sure that she will enjoy it too…
You are flying…flying into the cold night air…
The last thing that you see before landing onto an old homeless guy panhandling outside the bar on the sidewalk is the angry face of an extremely large man.
That angry face belongs to a man who is a bouncer and who curiously resembles a level 68 Goblin Warlock…
You wonder if the pretty blonde girl will ever comment on your “post”…
The homeless guy has a dog. It chews on your ankle.
As you walk down Mill Avenue, you see a short haired girl dressed in overalls. She looks just like a farm-girl. So, you ask her if she’d like to help you harvest your virtual corn. Or, you tell her, that you have a great pickle patch, if pickles are the type of tuber that she likes to pick.
You don’t understand how this girl expects you to “get lost” when you have Google Maps. So, you tell her that you’ll just follow her. In fact, you tell her that you are really quite good at following. You like to follow people. Following people is fun. You decide that you are definitely going to follow her…
Two very large and unpleasant Policemen escort you to a private jail cell…
Apparently, there are certain people who interpret excessive following behavior as “stalking”…
You do not want to poke or follow anyone here…
You decide to check in with FourSquare and discover that you are the “Mayor”…
You are the Mayor of the Tempe City Jail…
That is almost as cool as Farmville…
Crime And Punishment: Getting Arrested On Facebook…
Facebook wall posts, photos, messages, events pages and more can be helpful tools for authorities tracking a suspect, serving as key evidence in criminal cases. Recently, it’s become more and more common for police to turn to the social network during investigations.
In December 2010, a former New York EMT, Mark Musarella, pleaded guilty to charges of misconduct and disorderly conduct, according to the AP. “Prosecutors say Musarella responded to a March 30, 2009, emergency call in Staten Island, where he snapped a picture of a woman who had been strangled. He then posted the image on [Facebook], the AP also writes.
In July 2011, Joseph Bernard Campbell said he would plead guilty to charges of cyberstalking and unauthorized access to a computer. “At least 19 women were victimized by a computer hacker who broke into their email accounts, captured risqué photographs of the women and then swapped them for the women’s Facebook profile pictures, authorities say,” reports Tampa Bay Online.
In Carson City, Nevada a group of six girls (ages 12 to 13) were arrested in January 2011 for allegedly posting threatening comments on the wall of a Facebook event titled “Attack A Teacher Day.” According to the Nevada Appeal, posts apparently written by the girls containted the word “attack.” ”All of the girls said it was just a joke,” Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Jessica Rivera told the Appeal.
In April 2011, two preteen girls from a Seattle suburb were charged with cyberstalking and first-degree computer trespassing. Reuters reports that the girls “allegedly post[ed] sexually explicit photos and comments on the Facebook page of a 12-year-old classmate” and were “accused of using the third girl’s computer address to send out instant message solicitations for sex using her name.”
London Eley of Philadelphia allegedly used Facebook to find and hire someone to kill Corey White, the father of her child. “I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father,” Eley wrote, according 6ABC.com. A man named Timothy Bynum allegedly accepted Eley’s offer, writing, “say no more,” “what he look like?” and “need dat stack 1st,” reports 6ABC.com. White alerted the authorities to the alleged correspondence between Eley and Bynum, both of whom were taken into custody in June 2011. White was shot in August while Eley and Bynum remained in jail.
An Illinois teenager was arrested in May 2011 for allegedly distributing (via Facebook) a provocative list that ranked the physical appearance of 50 girls from his high school. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the list in question “described the girls by explicit, derogatory nicknames and assessed their physical appearance, sexual desirability, sexual activity and other characteristics”. The Associated Press lists nicknames like “Fallen Angel,” “Blond Bombshell” and “The Hangover.” ”He obviously offended people but he also has a right to free speech,” criminal defense attorney Mark Gottesman told The Huffington Post.
Former U.S. Congress candidate Cheryl Allen was arrested and charged in January 2011 for reportedly threatening several civil servants. According to the Associated Press, ”The alleged threats mentioned four Morgan County judges, and other public officials […] were mentioned by first name. Media reports said Allen had previously filed a discrimination lawsuit that was dismissed by a judge.”
In February 2011, Eric James Wilson, 21, was arrested in Palm Bay, Florida forallegedly assaulting his then-wife. According to ZDNET, police charged Wilson with “battery domestic violence and a misdemeanor.” The fight reportedly started after Wilson changed his Facebook relationship status from “married” to “single.”