Why is there such a sudden obsession with monitoring what average Americans are saying on Facebook and Twitter? To be honest, the vast majority of what is being said on Facebook and Twitter is simply not worth reading even if you could understand it. But for the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Reserve, Facebook and Twitter represent a treasure trove of intelligence information. Tens of millions of us have compiled incredibly detailed dossiers on ourselves and have put them out there for the entire world to see. Since the information is public, the various alphabet agencies of the federal government see no problem with scooping up all of that information and using it for their own purposes. Many potential employers have also discovered that Facebook and Twitter can tell them an awful lot about potential employees. Social media creates a permanent record that reflects who you are and what you believe, and many Americans are finding out that all of this information can come back and haunt them in a big way. In the world in which we now live, privacy is becoming a thing of the past, and we all need to be mindful of the things that we are exposing to the public.
Sadly, most Americans have absolutely no idea who is monitoring them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites these days. The following are just a few examples....
If you apply for a job at a big company, there is a very high probability that the company will want to check out what you have been doing on Facebook and Twitter.
According to one recent survey, approximately 90 percent of all human resources professionals check out the social media accounts of potential employees.
If you are applying for a job at a small business, there is probably much less of a chance that your social media accounts will be checked, but the reality is that all of us need to understand how the world is changing.
Some employers, colleges and government agencies are even taking things a step further. Now some of them are actually demanding to be allowed in to the Facebook accounts of applicants. The following is from a recent Daily Mail article....
Rather than trying to get around the pesky password protections of Facebook and email accounts, certain government agencies and colleges are cutting straight to the source.
Some extremely inquisitive employers are asking candidates to hand over them their email and Facebook login information when they apply for a job.
Others strongly request that the candidate opens their pages in front of them and allow their would-be bosses to scroll through their private information during the interview.
How would you feel if someone forced you to hand over the passwords to your social media accounts? At some U.S. colleges, this is actually happening. As MSNBC recently described, some college sports teams are actually requiring coaches to continually monitor, and have access to, all social media accounts of team members....
A recent revision in the handbook at the University of North Carolina is typical:
"Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings,” it reads. "The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts."
This is beyond creepy, but this is the world in which we live.
The FBI has also decided that it needs to continuously monitor Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites. The following is from an article posted on zdnet.com....
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking to develop a Web app that can continuously monitor social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace, as well as various news feeds. The organization’s goal is to improve its real-time intelligence when it comes to current and emerging security threats.
The CIA is a long way ahead of the FBI in monitoring social media. If you are an "activist" on the Internet, the CIA probably knows you very well. The following is from a recent USA Today article....
In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day.
At the agency's Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the "vengeful librarians" also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.
The Department Of Homeland Security
Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary Caryn Wagner made headlines all over the world a while back when she announced that the Department of Homeland Security would be “gleaning information from sites such as Twitter and Facebook for law enforcement purposes.”
So exactly what does that mean?
Well, apparently the Department of Homeland Security is actually setting up fake accounts and using them to monitor social media networks for information. The following is from a recent Daily Mail article....
The Department of Homeland Security makes fake Twitter and Facebook profiles for the specific purpose of scanning the networks for 'sensitive' words - and tracking people who use them.
That same article detailed what some of those "sensitive words" are a few paragraphs later....
The DHS outlined plans to scans blogs, Twitter and Facebook for words such as 'illegal immigrant', 'outbreak', 'drill', 'strain', 'virus', 'recovery', 'deaths', 'collapse', 'human to animal' and 'trojan', according to an 'impact asssessment' document filed by the agency.
It is interesting that the Department of Homeland Security considers "collapse" to be such an important keyword.
Does that mean that every time "The Economic Collapse Blog" is mentioned on Facebook or Twitter the Department of Homeland Security is alerted?
That is a sobering thought.
The U.S. Air Force
It turns out that the U.S. Air Force also wants to do more to monitor social media. The following is from a recent article by Madison Ruppert....
Dr. Mark Maybury, the United States Air Force Chief Scientist, is stepping outside of the typical areas in which an Air Force Chief Scientist operates and into the digital realm.
Maybury seeks to develop something he has dubbed “Social Radar” which would monitor information coming from just about every source imaginable: television, all Internet communications, radio, official reports, and more, in order to look into the hearts and minds of target populations and perhaps even predict future events.
The Federal Reserve
According to CNBC, the Federal Reserve "is planning on monitoring what you say about it on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook".
Aren't they supposed to be "above politics"?
So why is the Fed so concerned about what we are all saying about it?
Why is there a need to perform "sentiment analysis" on what is being said about the Federal Reserve on "Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube"?
Are they going to change their policies based on public opinion.
That seems highly unlikely.
Considering the fact that the Fed is setting up a system that would identify "key bloggers" and monitor "billions of conversations" on the Internet, it seems more likely that they are primarily interested in identifying critics of the Federal Reserve.
So once they have that information, what do they plan to do with it?
In the end, a lot of people are going to be scared away from Facebook and Twitter by all of this.
But the truth is that Facebook and Twitter can also be incredibly powerful tools for spreading the truth.
In the old days, it was nearly impossible for an average American to communicate to a mass audience.
Today, someone sitting alone in their own home can put something on the Internet that could potentially be seen by tens of millions of people.
The Internet has empowered average Americans unlike almost anything else that we have seen.
That is why the establishment feels so threatened by it.
We now have the power to directly talk with one another instead of going through establishment-controlled channels.
So let them see what we are talking about if they want to.
Perhaps some of them will wake up too.
If they want to find my Twitter account, they can find it right here.
When you have the truth on your side, you don't need to be ashamed. I am going to keep waking people up no matter how many people want to watch me.
America has become a crazy control freak nation where the control freaks that run things are obsessed with monitoring almost everything that the rest of us are doing.
But hopefully if enough of us stand up and speak loudly enough, a cultural shift back toward liberty and freedom will happen.
America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
So keep preaching the message of liberty and freedom.
Perhaps those stalking us on Facebook and Twitter will get the message if we keep repeating it often enough.