Data scraping has been a favorite tool of the FBI for quite some time. According to civil rights groups such as the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the bureau has routinely made large bulk purchases of consumer spending data and demographic information datamined from the Internet. These purchases are intended to get around provisions largely prohibiting the FBI from spying or intelligence-gathering on domestic targets without warrants or due suspicion. In 2007, it was revealed that the FBI even data mined Middle Eastern grocery store sales records; the FBI would not disclose if any arrests occurred due to their monitoring of ethnic food stores. The FBI also solicited bulk information from telephone companies. Apart from tracking down suspected terrorists, it’s believed the FBI mined bulk data in search of, among other crimes, credit card fraud and car theft.
The fact that the FBI is even searching for a social media monitoring dashboard, however, is puzzling. Most Americans are blissfully unaware of how nearly every activity on the Internet is monitored, analyzed, and repackaged for a host of companies whose market-driven spy apparatuses are scarier than anything the government has to offer. In the past 10 years, the market research and Internet marketing industries have commissioned plenty of sophisticated analysis software with Big Brother-ish capabilities. The puzzling coda is that market researchers and analysts, working for private corporations, snoop on Americans’ online activities far more effectively than the FBI themselves.
Posts Tagged ‘#Anonymous’
Tags: #Anonymous, #dsot, #OWS, #p2, hacking
January 14, 2012 CNN