CIA and NSA investing in social media

It seems that spooks are now monitoring social media to pick up trends, though this is surely fairly common practice, at least you would hope that is what they were doing.

Last September, the CIA’s deputy director David Cohen gave an address at Cornell University where he talked about Islamic State’s “sophisticated use of Twitter and other social media platforms is a perfect example of the malign use of these technologies.”

The Intercept reports that the Central Intelligence Agency’s investment arm In-Q-Tel is investing in companies that monitor what’s happening in social media.
The CIA so far has invested in Dataminr, a company that transforms the Twitter stream and other public datasets into actionable alerts to identify trends and threats; Geofeedia, which collects geotagged social posts; PATHAR, a company that monitors social media for ties to terrorism and radicalization; and TransVoyant, which mines social networks.

“ISIL’s tweets and other social media messages publicizing their activities often produce information that, especially in the aggregate, provides real intelligence value,” Cohen said. its difficult to understand why Twitter can’t shut down these dangerous profiles yet they also aid in the capture of terrorists so let them shout about their crimes to the world, let others follow in their footsteps as long as they leave a digital path so that we can catch them, again I would question the caliber of a terrorist logged into twitter, commenting on all his favourite acts of violence, would such an amateur be capable of anything more.

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