US government urged to release data on social networking spying

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By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
An Internet watchdog has filed a court complaint to force the US government to disclose how its law enforcement and spy agencies monitor social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. IntelNews regulars have known since October that the CIA has invested in a private software company specializing in monitoring online social media, such as YouTube, Twitter and Flickr. Additionally, we have previously reported on persistent rumors that the National Security Agency, America’s communications spying outfit, is actively monitoring popular social networking sites in order to make links between individuals and construct maps of who associates with whom. Now the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wants to find out the extent to which US intelligence and law enforcement agencies are secretly monitoring social networking sites on the Internet. The Foundation says a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request it filed last month was rejected by the US government, and has asked a court to order the US Treasury Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to comply and explain precisely how social networking sites are used in investigations. The EFF says it requires the data to ensure that the appropriate “restrictions and oversight [are] in place to prevent abuse”.

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About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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