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US Intelligence Mining Your Social Network Data

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the government-friend-list dept.

The Internet 240

bs0d3 writes "U.S. Intelligence has hired social scientists to mine the vast resources of the Internet — Web searches and Twitter messages, Facebook and blog posts, the digital location trails generated by billions of cellphones. They intend to use this info to track sociological laws of human behavior — enabling them to predict political crises, revolutions and other forms of social and economic instability. Privacy advocates are deeply skeptical of the project, saying it reminds them of Total Information Awareness, a 9/11 Pentagon program that proposed hunting for potential attackers by identifying patterns in vast collections of public and private data: telephone calling records, e-mail, travel data, visa and passport information, and credit card transactions. In a recent budget proposal, the defense agency argues that its analysis can expose terrorist cells and other groups by tracking their meetings, rehearsals and sharing of material and money transfers."

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I know that's what they're doing... (2)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693110)

So I purposely write posts knowing that they're doing it and designed to further any agenda *I* might have.

Occupy Wall Street everywhere in America!! :D

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693178)

So I purposely write posts knowing that they're doing it and designed to further any agenda *I* might have.

Occupy Wall Street everywhere in America!! :D

Write a circular agenda (that being one which dependencies on sub-agendas, which continue in a never ending circle, or even a moebius loop!) and see if you can cause a stack overflow and the biggest core dump in history. :D

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693208)

So I purposely write posts knowing that they're doing it and designed to further any agenda *I* might have.

Occupy Wall Street everywhere in America!! :D

Write a circular agenda (that being one which dependencies on sub-agendas, which continue in a never ending circle, or even a moebius loop!) and see if you can cause a stack overflow and the biggest core dump in history. :D

LOL

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693450)

no no no...
simple logic, 2 statements.

I always lie.
I'm lying to you.

that's how you kill a know-it-all computer....

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (3, Funny)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693830)

that's how you kill a know-it-all computer....

Unless it has paradox-absorbing crumple zones.

That's subversive! (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693320)

They're coming to take you away! Personally I'm watching government procurement for large orders of brown coats.

Re:That's subversive! (1)

N!k0N (883435) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693408)

except that the brown coats were the good guys...

Re:That's subversive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693682)

Brown shirts.... he means brown shirts.

Re:That's subversive! (2)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693642)

Typical US Government. They were supposed to order shirts, not coats.

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693376)

Let's get started...

I am Spartacus!
I am Bradley Manning....
I am the 99%....

AC for a reason. Not that it helps.

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693580)

Let's get started...

I am Spartacus!

I am Jesus Christ.

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693922)

No, I'm Jesus Christ.

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (1)

wintercolby (1117427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37694102)

My agnosticism is thus proved! The real Jesus Christ is an Anonymous Coward.

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (1)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693482)

I know this was posted in jest but you may not be far off when it comes to a "defense" for such a system. Internet sock puppetry could get a whole lot more interesting.

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693964)

I know this was posted in jest but you may not be far off when it comes to a "defense" for such a system. Internet sock puppetry could get a whole lot more interesting.

Indeed, comrade! Will discuss further plans over drinks [wikipedia.org] , da?

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37694062)

This will really get interesting when this data mining bot meets a DARPA pro-government sockpuppet bot... or a PR-firm social marketing sockpuppet bot... or any number of DIY real life human sockpuppets.

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693590)

Have you heard the knock on your front door yet? I guess if you have then you won't be able to answer.

Re:I know that's what they're doing... (2)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37694070)

Occupy Wall Street everywhere in America!! :D

Really. They could save themselves a lot of money by just looking out the window.

Eagle Eye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693114)

This didn't go well in Eagle Eye

US Intelligence? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693116)

We're talking about a country that puts people like George W. Bush and Barack Obama in the White House.

I don't think we'll find any US Intelligence.

Re:US Intelligence? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693502)

I wish I had mod points... oh, well.

Badum-TISH!

That do you?

LOL (1)

powerchord84 (2483118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693148)

Big Brother is in your phone stealing your text messages! ...well, I hope it was worth all that money to find out what time and place I'm hooking up this week.

Re:LOL (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693304)

I hope it was worth all that money

All what money? It gets cheaper and cheaper to keep tabs on you at all times. Hell, all you gotta do is threaten to cancel your contracts with the company and the telcos will fall all over themselves to give you the goods for next to nothing (see also: Qwest). Not only that, but computers are getting better and better at telling the government what they want to hear. The Computer will be the 2010's version of The DNA in the 90's, used to snow over juries who don't know any better and aren't allowed to ask.

Re:LOL (4, Insightful)

powerchord84 (2483118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693346)

It's the government...they don't do anything efficiently, least of spend money. They hired people to research the technology, give reports, implement, and now they probably pay a bunch of people to actually sit around and gather the data and analyze it (after a computer does, of course). I'm sure I've left a lot of steps out, but you can bet your ass they spent a TON of money on it. I agree with you in theory, but let's get real: we're talking about the government here, not a rational, intelligent entity.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37694004)

That's what THEY want you to think!

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693340)

Considering my hooking up involes my wife and only in our bedroom (one of her quirks), I'd love to see that cost benefit analysis.

Let 'em (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693154)

He who mines my social network date mines garbage.

except my slashdot journals, which are pure gold as to the utter stinker I am

Re:Let 'em (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693728)

How naive.

What garbage? why garbage? why did this 'garbage' be with this times posting? how do we separate the garbage? is normal posting of garbage that suddenly changes an indicator of a larger social trend.

Are you really so simple you can't find the value in mass trend and adoptions?

Shocking! (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693158)

I am shocked, SHOCKED that this is happening! Who would have thought that the same people behind CARNIVORE and ECHELON would make such dastardly use of the vast quantities of publicly available information!

Exposing Terr'ists (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693274)

the defense agency argues that its analysis can expose terrorist

It also conveniently justifies the spending of billions of tax dollars. Am I the only one who recognizes that the more money passing through the hands of the elite who run the business of government, the better positioned they are to exploit that cash flow for personal gain?

Re:Shocking! (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693278)

I naively thought that John "Iran-Contra" Poindexter was just going to fade away after his too-creepy-even-for-congress TIA [wikimedia.org] project was cancelled...

Re:Shocking! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693344)

If you like that badge you should check out some of the secret project badges for the various spy satellites.

Re:Shocking! (0)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693494)

I naively thought that John "Iran-Contra" Poindexter was just going to fade away

But the Hero Of The Progressive Left is President. How could this be happening??????

Except that he is part of the 1% (his mother was a banker, he earned $1.7M in 2010 and $5.5M in 2009 and approved /Fast And Furious/ to send automatic weapons to Mexico) and is just duping you Hope And Change saps.

Re:Shocking! (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693684)

Wow, just wow. YOu have fallen for the 'everything is "Obama's fault, especially stuff that isn't" hook line and sinker

Almost everything he does, even stuff the republicans wanted, is castrated by the republicans the pubs are holding up the government, and everyone blames Obama.
This mess was not creted by him, and is not continuying becasue of him. IN fact, the little he ahs managed to get passed the pub wall has helped.

Look at hoistoric trends of unemployment. Notice that in contrast to all increase in unemployment, This round it capped and leveled instead of peaked at a hirer value. It was cut short. This also jives with similar situation in other countries.

But, no. That gets buried and ignored.

The fact that it is known what do do to best help the economy. Seen historically and in other countries, doesn't happen isn't because of Obama, it's because the pubs are just a bunch of Zealots trying to get a radical religious extremist to be president.

But idiots like you keep repeating what the heard like a stupid boring little parrot. You don't look at data, you don't read world economists. You are a clueless sap trained to think everything is wrong.
Hey, the pubs got us into this mess, thwarted every opportunity to fix it, so lets put them back in office.

I am NOT Obama's biggest fan. What he is trying to do is the right thing, and any failure regarding the economy or wall street lies squarely on the pubs shoulders.

I wish I could be ignorant and wrap myself in a warm blanket of stupid like you.

Re:Shocking! (1)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693936)

+1 to this!

Re:Shocking! (0)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693948)

YOu have fallen for the 'everything is "Obama's fault, especially stuff that isn't" hook line and sinker

No I haven't, since I'm not so clueless as to think that the country was peaches and cream before January 2009.

Re:Shocking! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693742)

But the Hero Of The Progressive Left is President.

Haha if only...he was a presidential candidate, I'll give you that.

Track This Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693170)

Hasn't this already been happening in Hollywood for like ever? Surprised? Don't be.

"News" (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693218)

Does it really count as "news" if anyone with two brain cells says "well, duh" when they hear about it? It would absolutely shock me (and I wouldn't believe it anyways) if I found out ther weren't doing this. And "privacy concerns"? If it's on the Internet, by definition it isn't private.

Also, no one in the government gives a shit what most /.'ers are doing (at least individually: collectively is a little different), sorry tinfoil hatters.

Re:"News" (4, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693262)

I think what you mean if its on the WORLD WIDE WEB, by definition it isnt private. The internet encompasses a vast amount of wholly private spaces.

Re:"News" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37694058)

I think what you mean if its on the WORLD WIDE WEB, by definition it isnt private. The internet encompasses a vast amount of wholly private spaces.

Such as? If you send information across the internet, what stops someone from listening? From the NSA to network admins, there are many parties who can see any bytes you send. If you want bytes to be private, encrypt or use a private network.

My grandparents knew that you don't say anything on the phone that you wouldn't want to see in the newspaper. You may want a call to be private, and odds are it will be, but nothing stops various people from listening. The same rule applies to the internet.

THe bar currently set (0)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693220)

its analysis can expose terrorist cells

The DHS/TSA bar for accomplishing this sets the achievement bar pretty low.

and other groups

Like detractors of the O...bummer administration or proponent of a sane patent and copyright laws who require the dispatch of SWAT teams to their residence.

you want real change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693236)

occupy wal-mart

Re:you want real change (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693576)

And prevent poor people from purchasing low-cost food? That's fscking compassionate!

Re:you want real change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693646)

The guy is against change and hope. Identifying himself as right-wing. Which implies supporting theocracy, venality and eternal war. Compassion is probably not high on his list of virtues.

Re:you want real change (1)

Frenzied Apathy (2473340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37694028)

LOL

Start mining NOW... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693240)

...before the next economic disaster begins and society freaks.

Oh, wait.

In all seriousness (2)

roundscimitar (2475882) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693244)

Some people are aware of this and are genuinely concerned. I'm probably going to get down-modded for this but as a concerned programmer, I made a website called truefriender [truefriender.com] specifically for this reason. I just have no idea how to tell everyone about it without sounding like a spam-bot. It is worthwhile to check out if you're concerned.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693400)

>> as a concerned programmer...

Let face it, YOU are a concerned programmer but obviously there are other programmers who are working on this technology who are less concerned about it. I'm not sure I know what motivates these rogue programmers but I suspect it has something to do with power and prestige.

Re:In all seriousness (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693548)

rogue programmer?

WTF are you talking about? is there some sort of programmer cabal they are working against?

rogue programmers. sheeesh. You sounds as bad a CSI.

Re:In all seriousness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693750)

Rogue Adj.
1) Operating outside normal or desirable controls.

I would say that meets the proper definition.

Thank You Captain Obvious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693246)

Who would have though. oh wait RMS.

Where is the news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693268)

No, really, is there anyone out there who really believes that GOOGLE was not created for this single and only purpose!!!!
Even in the movies, like "Abduction", you could see how the CIA agent was informed of the exact location and place and search result of the key words, once our good guy tried to......what, google it.

Illegal to mine something publicly available? (1)

hatten (1640681) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693294)

I understand that mining all the vast quantities of data is wrong ethically, but it can't be illegal, or?

And then what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693298)

"...enabling them to predict political crises, revolutions and other forms of social and economic instability."

Unless it's predicting this stuff years in advance, what's the point in a glacial political system that mistrusts facts? Social scientists predict the future, and then what?

Re:And then what? (0)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693992)

Social scientists

Don't make me laugh.

No fucking way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693302)

publicly available information being incorporated into intelligence analysis? Only America could be so bold

As I have stated before (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693312)

I have mentioned this in multiple post, all you are doing when you join Facebook or any other social site it to activate and grow a psych profile available to everyone, that in the end, will only be used against you.

Re:As I have stated before (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693530)

To a certain extent, isn't that true just by being alive? Certainly joining a social site makes it easier, but almost everything you do in life can potentially be tracked one way or another. It's hard to live as a completely unobserved hermit. We make trade-offs between exposing ourselves to public view in exchange for certain conveniences, it's just a question of how much you think any particular convenience is worth the price they ask for it.

You certainly seem to think you get enough out of Slashdot to make it work joining this social site after all, or you would have had to post your complaint about social sites as an AC.

Re:As I have stated before (1)

GNULinuxGuy (2483278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37694020)

Indeed. It would surprise me if it's not already considered suspicious to avoid being monitored/tracked by technology. It's at best extremely inconvenient for people to avoid it these days, so if you're attempting it, then you must be antisocial, paranoid, or have something serious to hide right?

Bomb (3, Funny)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693334)

So now I am not allowed to say "bomb" online? Bomb bomb bomb...bomb bomb bomb bomb!!

Re:Bomb (1)

roundscimitar (2475882) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693474)

If I had the points I would mod this up, I really like the reference, and it gave me a hearty chuckle my good chap.

Re:Bomb (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693504)

Dude, you should use strong encryption when posting such things online!

OBZO OBZO OBZO...OBZO OBZO OBZO OBZO!!

Re:Bomb (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693536)

Says who? WTF do you even base the comment on? Yes there scanning the data looking for sociological trends, not looking for the word bomb.

Idiot.

Re:Bomb (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693806)

You're the idiot who hasn't seen Meet The Parents.

Re:Bomb (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37694068)

Sung to "Barbara Ann":

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran
Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb,
Bomb Iran
Let's take a stand
Bomb Iran
Our country's got a feelin'
Really hit the ceilin', bomb Iran
Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran

Went to a mosque, gonna throw some rocks
Tell the Ayatollah, "Gonna put you in a box!"
Bomb Iran. Bomb, bomb, bomb,
Bomb Iran
Our country's got a feelin'
Really hit the ceilin', bomb Iran
Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran

Suggested Mascot... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693338)

Remember Smokey the bear, the adorable bear who became the public face of anti-forest-fire programs?

Well, I think we need a new bear, for a new time, to prevent terror by reading lots and lots of facebook accounts: Pedobear, of course!

Re:Suggested Mascot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693458)

Remember Smokey the bear, the adorable bear who became the public face of anti-forest-fire programs?

Well, I think we need a new bear, for a new time, to prevent terror by reading lots and lots of facebook accounts: Pedobear, of course!

Not a bear. A pony [deviantart.com] .

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a hoof stamping on a cupcake - forever [deviantart.com]

You so random (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37694026)

D'aawww! Pinkie Pie can watch me all she wants, especially if she brings cupcakes!

fuel for artificial intelligence... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693360)

Will this be the database which fuels the Singularity and/or future robot intuition on human behavior? Google Brain versus Govt Brain. Awesome.

Re:fuel for artificial intelligence... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693454)

The same thing we do every night, Pinky — try to take over the world!

*Gasp* No!! I'm shocked! Shocked! (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693382)

Pretty soon, they'll be monitoring our online blog posts. Now excuse me, there's someone knocking at my door *really* loud.

Hmmm... (1)

mrquagmire (2326560) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693420)

I guess I'll start using TOR all the time now.

I wonder how fast software like that would get outlawed if a large number of people start using it... Should we try to find out??

It's because of the browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693426)

Posting anonymously because I work for, or used to work for, or otherwise know a lot about RIM. (Yeah, let's be intentionally vague. But honestly, there's nothing really secret here so I don't know why I bother.)

My guess is that this outage ultimately stems from the way the browser on all the older devices works. It used to be that mobile data was expensive and slow, so RIM designed the browser to use a special service called MDS to prepackage and compress web surfing data. This was referred to as "BIS Browsing," part of the BlackBerry Internet Services. On the slow networks of yesteryear, BIS Browsing felt sluggish, but it was actually not that bad compared to other devices, and RIM's solution probably made it faster than other devices due to the compression. The only caveat was that all your web traffic had to go through the relay, RIM's central hub for its encrypted traffic. But web traffic was rather small then, and the number of devices RIM had to support was also small.

With the smartphone explosion of the past few years, RIM found itself supporting a lot more devices surfing the web, and I suspect the web traffic added up. With 3G data plans, suddenly competing phones could browse the web much faster than the BlackBerry could, so RIM (eventually) introduced BB OS 6 with a real Webkit browser that did not require, but still could use, the BIS Browsing service. And the browser is much better! But as haters love to point out, they didn't execute as quickly as they should have, I'd imagine they still have a lot of heavy traffic from those older devices that have to touch the relay for everything. Plus, the new BB Messenger is more traffic intensive as well since it's not just text messages anymore. All this data makes crashes hard to recover from. RIM does have redundant services and datacenters, but it looks like some sort of networking snafu, or database snafu, or whatever, has prevented their failover plan from working right.

I bet they really wish they killed BIS Browsing earlier.

Duh (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693432)

People post information with public access on the internet and expect intelligence agencies to not use that information?

Cue Hari Seldon (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693462)

Last one to the Time Vault is a rotten robot!

well, hardly surprising, is it? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693484)

What else are you gonna do with access to those several tens of Petabytes of data?

Aside from that, as commented in an earlier post, how long is the vast array of Darket toolage going to survive if more and more people start using it? I'm referring of course, to things like Tor, Freenet and to get to real basics, file transfer via Skype or to go to the other extreme, Collab software such as CovEn.

Good (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693516)

a lot of interesting social behavior will be revealed.

Who are these 'social scientists'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693528)

Are they as ethically challenged as the psychologists used in "enhanced interrogation".

Jeez - what has happened to the 'Light Unto Nations'?

Re:Who are these 'social scientists'? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693560)

It turned into the 500W halogen straight into the eyes. Ouchie.

It was probably the Government-appointed psychologists (in fact I'll lay odds it was), that pointed out the best place to find out about someone was on their Facebook wall and their Twitter feed. A lot of people (myself included in this group) use the same email address to register both.

Not shocked, too busy laughing. (3, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693534)

I'm too busy laughing hysterically at the very aspect that anyone thought this was "new" news in any way. What exactly do you think our intelligence agencies have been doing for a very long time now. I find it rather pathetic they had to hire "social scientists" to do this though...you would think they've had enough practice at data mining by now.

OK, now I'm laughing at the concept of a few million being handed to this group of "social scientists" who are busy right now watching YouTube videos on how to extract information from Facebook accounts...Oh, look! I think one of them just found the UK privacy law "loophole"...shortcut!

Who exactly is ""U.S. Intelligence"? (1)

Cragen (697038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693546)

Yawn...Who profits the most? The contractor doing the work, I think.

Nothing new (1)

LordAzuzu (1701760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693552)

at the horizon. We all already knew, didn't we?

Sooo.... They'll catch all the stupid ones. (1)

Commontwist (2452418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693578)

I mean, I would think that any terrorist group that can do serious damage to the U.S. would do some research on how NOT to get caught like this.

The stupid, prideful, and arrogant ones might get through due to equal amounts of stupidity, pride, and arrogance on the agency's side (think 9/11) but all they do is piss the other half a billion Americans off. Starting major conflicts -- sometime not declaring war-- and getting the U.S. into massive debts so perhaps it did work in a going-down-in-flames way.

Makes me wonder what a really smart bunch of terrorists could do... not that most planes are unlikely to become targets. (Given that American passengers are NOT likely to co-operate with 'do nothing and you'll all get through this alive' anymore.) Given the financial state of the U.S. I'd think taking out big money makers for U.S. would become targets to make matters worse. Like, say, motion picture studios.

Re:Sooo.... They'll catch all the stupid ones. (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693690)

the answers being obvious to some, not so obvious to others...

1. stay off social networking sites.
2. stay off email.
3. dispose of mobile handsets on a regular basis, buy cheap pay as you go handsets for this purpose (you can get them for the equivalent price of a SIM-only PAYG deal these days) and simply bin it (SIM and all) after a few calls or if you have the funds and necessity, bin it when the battery dies.
4. avoid places with CCTV. OK, this precludes entry into most large cities, particularly in the UK where even public transport has recording CCTV on board.
5. avoid the postal service. Stuff gets intercepted all the time (been there, worn the t-shirt).

Comms 101 always starts with simply talking to someone, face to face. This is easily the hardest thing to monitor, since you can strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, anywhen and talk about anything. Unless you've got a suit on your coattail 24/7 there's not really a great deal to worry about - and those guys are so easy to spot it's laughable.

Re:Sooo.... They'll catch all the stupid ones. (1)

Commontwist (2452418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693698)

Actually, who are the ones that got the most the spending that created the debt? A list of who and when during the years would make for some interesting reading, I'd bet.

Sticks and stones may break my bones.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693594)

We don't live in that world any more, do we. ~but words can never hurt me, 'unless they are my own..'
>:-D

Hell, as a side note, I do everything as if someone is watching me.. and I am right about that..

unconstitutional (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693616)

obviously this is completely unconstitutional, not authorized to the federal government of USA under the Constitution, violates all sorts of rights, from freedom of speech to illegal searches and presumption of innocence just to throw in there as well.

That's why government needs to be cut.

Ron Paul 2012.

Web Crawlers now Unconstitutional? (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693754)

obviously this is completely unconstitutional, not authorized to the federal government of USA under the Constitution, violates all sorts of rights, from freedom of speech to illegal searches and presumption of innocence just to throw in there as well.

That's why government needs to be cut.

Ron Paul 2012.

Yes, doing web searches, looking at your Twitter posts, Facebook updates, and blog posts... all that public data! How dare they look at publicly available data and put computers to use sorting it!

In other news, /. readers shocked to find out that the technology, known as a web crawler, has been around since the early 1990's and nobody told them.

Re:Web Crawlers now Unconstitutional? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693912)

US federal government is not authorized to take such steps, it is not authorized and thus it is not allowed to do so. You should watch this. [youtube.com]

Re:Web Crawlers now Unconstitutional? (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37694050)

I'm sorry, but that's a view only taken by people that think the government can't only do specific authorized acts. That's completely untrue. That's why there are constitutional amendments telling the government specifically what it can not do. Other's tell government what specific parts are responsible for what.

But if you are under the impression that it can't do something because it's not specifically told to do it... well, then you're living a libertarian fantasy. That is not reality. That is not how the world works. And it is never how any government on earth at any time in history has ever worked.

Sorry to bust your ideological bubble. And no, I really don't wanna see your Ron Paul conspiracy theory Youtube video.

Re:Web Crawlers now Unconstitutional? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693962)

Last time I checked, web Crawlers don't profile people based on their political view or "sociological trends"... Or do they?

Psychohistory (1)

way2slo (151122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693640)

I wonder what their Prime Radiant looks like.

Sheldon's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693644)

It reminds me of Asimov's foundation trilogy: Seldon's law of psychohistory .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hari_Seldon. Or minority report scenarios.

Don't be too paranoid... (2)

Bitmanhome (254112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693732)

Everyone is mining your social network data.

Useless endeavor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693740)

What is surprising? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693792)

The things you put on the internet are there for the whole world to see.

There is only one appropriate response to this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37693870)

There is only one appropriate response to this:
Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

TIA never died (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693938)

IIRC, TIA was just a rename of the previous version. We already have 100% warrentless wiretapping, or at least the Narus gear is in place to do it, and has been for awhile - pictures of some of it were even linked here at one point.

Of course, these are the actions not of a government that loves its people, it's the actions of one afraid of its people, but determined not to allow anything like an "American Spring" to take place by nipping it in the bud before any momentum can gather.

It could almost be useful if they were smart enough to get to Hari Seldon's equations from the data (evidently that's the stated goal), but they aren't.

OK, I'm evil (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693978)

I have to admit I find these attempts to predict behavior and find patterns in social data to be kind of interesting. Teaching machines to scan faces and detect various types of intent... neat. Might never work well, but the attempt attracts my curiosity.

Yeah, I'm evil and wiping myself with the Constitution and burning the flag and whatnot. So be it. Doesn't matter. I'm a misanthrope to the point where I'd sell the entire lot of you out to aliens at the first opportunity.

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