*Banging head against the keyboard* – the government is monitoring the internet more now than ever. If I wasn’t so politically charged, I probably wouldn’t care, nor would I really hear much about this, but much of my twitter and Facebook use is for political activism and pontificating on the issues of the day. If that gets me into trouble with the government, then so be it. I’d rather get carted off for practicing my first amendment right of free speech than for doing something that was truly illegal like stealing my neighbor’s car.
Both parties are at fault for this obvious breach of personal privacy, but I believe one could make the argument where there are certain circumstances that warrant wire tapping or other similar techniques if it saves lives and stops terrorism. However, the slippery slope is easily becoming not just a theory, but a reality. I do not see the need to monitor Facebook or twitter. These are mainly tools used by citizens to get short points across that consist of 140 characters. Some people tweet articles, some tweet opinions, some tweet their daily activities, while others tweet photos – why should that be monitored by the government? Does the government seriously care that I just got back in touch with Sally Muckenfuch from 3rd grade?
I don’t want to seem like a ‘Debbie Downer’ but would terrorists really be using twitter? “Just strapped a bomb onto my back, headed to airport, can’t wait for virgins.” I am not naive, either, and believe that anything could be used for the wrong purpose, but twitter just doesn’t seem like the place to strategize and plan an attack. Information can definitely be sent out to meet up, but whole terror plots are difficult to type in 140 characters or less, let alone hope that ADD riddled people already tweeting will follow. Based on the latest NY Times editorial, however, that is not the intent of the government’s monitor at all though:
The government is increasingly monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for tax delinquents, copyright infringers and political protesters. A public interest group has filed a lawsuit to learn more about this monitoring, in the hope of starting a national discussion and modifying privacy laws as necessary for the online era.
Wired magazine reported in October:
America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon.
In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.
This is what scares common sense independents about the government — we allow them to have more power than ever should have been necessary and our rights and personal freedoms continue to disappear right from under us because we allow them to be taken PROGRESSIVELY… funny how we appear to be turning into those much storied frogs that are unable to jump out of a pot of luke warm water after it has boiled.
And as Noel Sheppard of Newbusters points out, the fact that this isn’t being reported as much as it would be if a Republican was in office, is just another hypocritical chink in the liberal media’s armor:
So be careful with your next Tweet or Facebook status, for you never know who’s watching.
On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how Obama-loving media follow this story.
After all, the press were constantly bashing the Bush White House concerning electronic surveillance designed to protect the nation from terrorist attacks.
The Times might be pleased with itself by publishing an editorial on this subject in its opinion section, but under the previous administration, this would have resulted in a front page story with thousands of words.