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The CIA's Social Mining Department 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the digesting-aggregated-opinions dept.
bsquizzato writes "The Associated Press is running a story about the CIA's Open Source Center: 'a team known affectionately as the "vengeful librarians,"' who work out of 'an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building' scouring social networks and other online media to keep up with the world's current events and opinions on American actions. This should come as no surprise, but it's quite interesting that President Obama is briefed daily on the latest hot topic tweets and Facebook posts."
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The CIA's Social Mining Department

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  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:35AM (#37947464)

    Why does Obama even bother? Based on the petition responses, he doesn't really give a shit what any of us "little people" think, anyway.

    I think he's just looking for buzz words to use as he blows more smoke up our collective asses, myself.

    Neither party represents the people any more. It's time to call a mulligan on this one and start again...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:38AM (#37947490)

    ... and you've just given an excellent description of the the difference between a politician and a leader.

  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:48AM (#37947598)
    After 9/11 the bed wetters gave up their freedom for security, and took everyone along for the ride.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday November 04, 2011 @10:51AM (#37947640)

    So I guess they have an astroturfing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing) department, as well. They spread positive stuff on America's actions in foreign social networks.

    So I hope that the mining folks don't pick up something spread by their own astroturfing folks. Gee, wouldn't that be a major failure of intelligence gathering.?

  • by Shoten (260439) on Friday November 04, 2011 @11:02AM (#37947748)

    So I guess they have an astroturfing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing) department, as well. They spread positive stuff on America's actions in foreign social networks.

    So I hope that the mining folks don't pick up something spread by their own astroturfing folks. Gee, wouldn't that be a major failure of intelligence gathering.?

    So, first off, before it was called "astroturfing" it was already an old practice in the realm of geopolitics...it was called "propoganda," and everyone does it like crazy. It's not rocket science that you guessed at that, by the way...this is far, far, far from being either a news or secret.

    If you read the article, you'll see that what they're doing is not just absorbing the messages, but looking at the information in the context of the sources providing them. And they aren't just looking at opinions, but at facts as well. In fact, I'd be shocked if they weren't fully aware of what other efforts were underway to improve the viewpoint on American activities, and cross-referencing to validate the effectiveness of those efforts. As well they should; that's part of what an intelligence organization is supposed to do, after all. Why do some people get so upset when the CIA does what the CIA is meant to do? If you want to live in a country that has no such apparatus, your options are extremely limited...I recommend Costa Rica or Luxembourg. At least what we're talking about here is nothing more than listening to what the rest of the world is saying, and paying attention to it...this is not waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, or reaper drone strikes. It's reading Twitter and Facebook.

  • by IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) on Friday November 04, 2011 @11:16AM (#37947918) Homepage Journal

    How about instead of spying on the little guy, you go after the people that wrecked america, economically, socially, politically and intellectually.

    Can you bring those crooks to justice please?

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Friday November 04, 2011 @11:49AM (#37948424) Homepage Journal

    "That's why more drastic action, like the protests and beyond, must be taken."

    Well, if we paid attention at election time and actually examined the candidates, we would, sadly, conclude that none of them can be trusted, and none of them deserve our votes.

    Then we would pay more attention to the selection process, and would realize, sadly, that none of them can be trusted, and none of them deserve our support.

    Then, perhaps, we would pay more attention to the media, and realize, sadly, that none of it serves us. And we would look elsewhere for such meager scraps of information as can be useful in selecting our political leaders.

    All of which is a waste of time, since the majority in the U.S. will never care who they vote for, so long as they can vote for the one that promises they will not have to pay taxes and will taken care of by their government, for others will pay the taxes.

    Doomed. We are doomed.

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