As you already suspected, the CIA is reading your tweets and Facebook status updates

According to this Associated Press story, the tinfoil beanie hat crowd was right all along: "In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day. At the agency's Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the 'vengeful librarians' also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly."



  1. Why should people be surprised that publicly available information is being read by somebody?  If you don’t want everybody to read about your trip to the grocery store, then don’t tweet about it!

        1. Preferably a code word that will send up lots of red flags?  “I am at the TORTURE HUT picking up MURDER JUICE for my cereal.”

          Ah yes… brings back memories… like Jam Echelon Day

          Maybe it’s time to bring that TERRORIST PLOT back?


    1. Why should citizens be surprised that publicly available information is being read the US government?


    2. Because: they have power over people that the intended audience does not, and you shouldn’t have to assume that the government is reading your tweets, whether they’re capable or not.

      When they are, this means that you’re living in a police state, and to say “But it’s public!” is like saying “If you don’t have anything to hide, why do you care?”

  2. The CIA and a Crack House have more in common than they realize. default4202 {“method”:”validate”,”params”:[],”id”:1,”jsonrpc”:”2.0″}

  3. Yeah, I always assume this is the case. This is why my best tweets are when I’ve lost all hope and subsequently all concern for intrusion or authoritarian consequences. 

  4. When the FBI started Swatting into peace activist homes I was the only one that showed
    up at their local place of business with a sign saying FBI Terrorist.  Cops were called, always are, and asked my if they had come down yet to beat the shit outta me?  Naw, they don’t work that way, it’s broad daylight on a city street.  Esp 6:11

  5. I hope they like updates on what my cat is doing.

    Hey – what do the CIA and a psycho ex-girlfriend have in common?

  6. This feels just like in Japan were a Police does all day long try and see when people are downloading things “Illegally” 24/7…Why the hell are they reading our status’s and tweets without a Court Warrant anyway…doesn’t our Government have something better else to do then READING OUR INFORMATION!

  7. If you actually R the FA you would see that this story is specifically about the fact that the CIA is reading tweets from overseas in foreign languages and attempting to further their mission as an intelligence agency that is supposed to be gathering intelligence about other countries.

    They probably are also reading the tweets of US citizens, but that isn’t what this story is about. 

    (And it is shocking that the CIA – publishers of the CIA World Factbook – would be attempting to perform data mining operations about what’s going on in the world.  No wait – not shocking, what’s that word – oh yeah right “so obvious that the branding of AP EXCLUSIVE on the linked story makes me think that this is The Onion’s world and we just live in it’).

    1. Given the volume of information involved, it’d *take* well-paid analysts to extract most of the useful conclusions.

      1. Which useful conclusions would those be? That  “I’m never gonna give you up?” or “The internet is for porn”?

        Which one of those keeps nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

        1. “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and drop a nuke on your ass”.

  8. Craaaaap…. just the other day I posted that I ate so much I might explode….

    But on a more serious note, my Facebook account is a stream of random holidays, interesting facts about random mammals and just generally proving I’m not dead.  As I type that, I realize how much it actually mirrors my offline life….

  9. Don’t worry i know guys at the OSC and they are, well lets just say that there are greater fears out there. But yes, all these guys do all day and night is poor over freely available unstructured data (e.g. twitter, facebook, Google+, linkedIn, blogs and comments (yes this one) and news sources) dumping it into databases and using software like Palantir to mine it for relationships in an effort to exploit this information for intelligence and tracking purposes.

  10. There is a difference between a normal person reading your tweet and the CIA. When a normal person reads it they take it in, give it a thought or two, and move on. I would presume the CIA would archive it with some sort of classification related to how much of a threat you are, and come back periodically to check their assumptions. Also let’s not forget that they are able to get to your personal information. This is something a normal tweet follower can’t do. Maybe that’s why it’s creepy to think a government agency would be watching posts on something like Twitter. 

  11. What a boring job!…reading every single facebook status and tweet….

    “work, school, then home”
    “mmm i love diet coke”
    “Just saw (insert movie here) with (tagged friends here). Total blast!”

    ….seriously if I had to read that crap all day everyday for a living, I would probably shoot myself.

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