An anonymous reader writes with a story at Ars Technica, according to which "For the past two years, a secretive unit in the Metropolitan Police has been developing the tools for blanket surveillance of the public's social media conversations. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a staff of 17 officers in the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) has been scanning the public's tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, and anything else UK citizens post in the public online sphere. ... Surveillance operations often require a ministerial sign-off or permission from a superior, but it is unclear whether targeting of public social media data requires the same level of oversight, as head of research at Privacy International Eric King points out."
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