CWmike writes "The US government may start issuing terror alerts using Facebook and Twitter, which were thrust again in the spotlight recently as lifelines in Japan. An AP report Thursday, based on a 19-page draft of the plan that the news service obtained, said DHS is working to overhaul the current color-coded terror alert system. 'The new terror alerts would ... be published online using Facebook and Twitter 'when appropriate,' the AP reports, 'but only after federal, state and local government leaders have already been notified.' Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at the Yankee Group, said the government entrusting something as critical as terrorist alerts to Facebook and Twitter shows how important social networking sites have become to people's lives. 'There are hundreds of millions of people using Facebook and Twitter. For many of them, it's their primary communication tool,' Kerravala said. 'That means it's a great way to get information to a massive number of people. Maybe the best.'"