CIA’s daily menu: 5 mln foreign tweets!
27 Dec, 2011 13:50
It has been a while since the US Central Intelligence Agency admitted it keeps an eye on everything that appears on Facebook and Twitter. A new report now says the CIA “vengeful librarians” have to follow up to 5,000,000 foreign tweets a day.
In November, the CIA acknowledged a full monitoring of social networks. Almost two-thirds of intelligence reports made by the CIA for Washington now come from analysts monitoring millions of individual messages sent worldwide, says the Associated Press. The CIA’s “vengeful librarians,” as the CIA Open Source Center (OSC) director Doug Naquin named them, monitor everything available regardless of its significance and language. This also includes TV news channels, internet chat rooms, local radio stations, and newspapers. Social media became the focus of the group’s activities during the unrest in the Islamic Republic of Iran, following its 2009 presidential election.The goal is to map “the mood of a region” where the US pursues interest. Such a process let Washington in on the global public reaction after the death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan back in May. Before that, the analysts saw the popular uprising coming to Egypt, but could not predict its exact timelines, said the center’s director, Doug Naquin. Fast-paced riots, as the ones which took place during the Arab Spring, put social networks such as Facebook and Twitter on to the top among crucial intelligence tools. The two also offer a growing coverage, with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook network boasting over 800 million active users, while June statistics showed over 300 million were singed in the Twitter microblog.