Here is a very interesting document and accompanying story from the folks at Mashable about the FBI's desire to monitor social media in real time for security purposes.
It seems the FBI wants a "social media application" that would allow the agency to gather intelligence from publicly shared information on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, as well as news media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.
Reactions are mixed, ranging from the belief that such a move was inevitable to rants about rotting freedom.
How can anyone truly be surprised by this?
Further, how is this any different from what businesses do
on a daily basis? What social networks themselves do on a daily basis?
At the end of the day, social networks are companies that provide services. By using their services, you are giving them permission to use the public information you provide about yourself for any purpose they choose.
In the case of the FBI, the cause is to identify current and future security threats. In the case of Facebook, for example, the cause
is to sell information to marketers that reveals what makes you tick, or what you might be willing to buy.
Which cause do you think is more noble?