Social Networks and National Security

June 28, 2006

Under the carte blanche of the so-called “War on Terror”, a carte blance which has a seemingly infinite sweep of coverage, you can now consider your activities in social networks like MySpace to be scrutinized as well, according to an article in the June 9 online edition of New Scientist entitled “Pentagon Sets Its Sights On Social Networking Websites“.

According to Paul Marks, who wrote the piece, the NSA isn’t satisfied with the results of their massive telephone eavesdropping campaign and is looking to “connect the dots” through the much richer information source of online social networks. As Marks puts it, “Clusters of people in highly connected groups become apparent, as do people with few connections who appear to be the intermediaries between such groups. The idea is to see by how many links or “degrees” separate people from, say, a member of a blacklisted organisation.”

For an excellent analysis, read Dana Boyd’s NSA Spying on Digital Publics article.

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