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FBI Building App To Scrape Social Media 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-know-you-read-everything-you-can-about-bieber dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "The FBI is in the early stages of developing an application that would monitor sites such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as various news feeds, in order to find information on emerging threats and new events happening at the moment. The tool would give specialists the ability to pull the data into a dashboard that also would include classified information coming in at the same time. One of the key capabilities of the new application, for which the FBI has sent out a solicitation, would be to 'provide an automated search and scrape capability for social networking sites and open source news sites for breaking events, crisis and threats that meet the search parameters/keywords defined by FBI/SIOC.'"
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FBI Building App To Scrape Social Media

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  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:11PM (#38844149)
    I recently inactivated my account, but I know they still have all of that data. I looked, but found no obvious place to request that your data be deleted. Anyone have any first hand experience with getting them to actually erase your data?
  • by NIN1385 (760712) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:16PM (#38844237)
    If you are referring to Facebook, I don't think there is a damn thing you can do to get them to erase or not retain that data. I never started a Facebook account which would be the best advice I could give.

    Wiki-leaks releases tons of information on the government and banks and they get punished for it, Mark Zuckerberg does the same thing to people and he gets praised.

    On another note, my spell-check that Firefox uses wants to change "Zuckerberg" to "Rubbernecker". Interesting...
  • by tatman (1076111) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:17PM (#38844251) Homepage
    I read a few articles during and after the mayhem in London the police where having trouble coordinating their efforts because the rioters were using social media to communicate their plans. If I remember correctly, someone in British government structure has proposed a law to allow them to shut down social media sites in "emergencies". So I would assume the FBI motivation is more on these lines as the likelihood of social media sites can get legally shutdown. (btw I am in no way advocating shutting down social media or validating gov attempts to monitor it--just offering my thought as to motivations behind the FBI project)
  • Privacy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by liquidhokie (2044274) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:24PM (#38844337)

    Who thinks Facebook is private? The whole point is to *not* be private, right? Otherwise... what is the point of Facebook?

    If the FBI was going to start monitoring encrypted email, VPNs, and other things where you are *trying* to be private, I would be concerned (yes, I know-- whole 'nuther can o' worms). But Facebook? You are giving the info away as a user, that is the purpose of having a Facebook account.

  • Re:So. It begins. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday January 27, 2012 @04:42PM (#38844565)

    Google doesn't have the power to arrest me and send me to Gitmo without trial (NDAA). That's why I hate corporations but don't fear them. I only fear the government.

    As for permanence, I can find my posts going all the way back to 1988. Who knew in 1988 that posts would be archived forever??? Anyway I don't use my real name anymore, and try to rotate my fake name every 1-2 years.

    For the FBI:
    Ron Paul
    Yeah that sound catch their attention. ;-)

  • Re:Made For TV? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) <> on Friday January 27, 2012 @05:21PM (#38845089) Homepage Journal

    The copy and paste buffer, even if you believe it to be plain text, contains bits per byte which are part of the overlying OS. Some people know where those bits are and manipulate them.

    For example, when editing in MS-Word, open a plain text document--a real one (such as is generated by notepad). If you allow autospell to correct something, even if you save the document again as plain text, there will be an artefact of the autospell replacing text and some of it may be marked as UTF-8 (or other standard encoding in your OS). You think it's plain text but, until you really sanitize it with notepad or a true plain text buffer, those little tags will be preserved even if MS-Word tells you that the file is being saved plain text. The copy and paste buffer and HTML form buffers are susceptible to that sort of thing.

    Networks are exploited in a similar manner. Every packet and frame transmitted has bits wrapped around at the beginning and end--those bits are electronic pulse timings which fill the hardware as the electronic signal goes from wire to chips. A router is a bank of repeaters with bitmasks used to control which packets go where. If you, for example, use a BASIC interpreter to operate on a TCP/IP stack (such as the uIP stack inside of Contiki-OS), you will be able to manipulate those bit timings (eg. peruse uip.c for "add arch timings") which you are unable to see using standard TCP/IP libraries on your modern day OS. Careful manipulation of PEEK, POKE, and READ (and using BASIC's open hole of deliberately mixing string and numeric variables) will allow you to generate packets which, when POKE'd back into the overlying OS network stack, will hit a router and have a priority to activate the repeater circuit because a priority higher than the network bitmask was used.

    Precise knowledge of the packet generating process and the nature of the hardware to be targeted will allow the attacker to practically load an entire OS (such as the tiny ones listed on the wikipedia page for Contiki) onto the target hardware and, because it's all about nothing more than pulse timings, the "rootkit" will run concomittant to the code running in that hardware; concomittant meaning that it may or may not even be able to access the processes running in the cycles on the other side of the pulse timings.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.