The popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter seem to encourage FBI to monitor the global output of these sites as well as other social networking sites. In fact, just recently, the US Federal Bureau has released details about its plan that shows how the bureau can use the information gathered from these sites to respond with crises and even foresee events. This information came from a document that was released on January 19 showing details about the bureau’s intention of looking for a company that could build a monitoring system for them. It also shows what they want out from this system and even invited potential contractors to reply by February 10. So what is the FBI after?
Based on the document, it seems that FBI is trying to use these sites in order to monitor some users or group that may be involved in terrorism, online crime and other events that may help FBI accomplish its missions. In doing so, FBI wants a monitoring system that will be able to automatically search “publicly available” material from Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites such keywords related to terrorism and other crimes. The use of this term “publicly available” suggests that these networking sites may be able to exempt themselves from the said monitoring by simply making their post private.
However, FBI’s plans are not really a good idea for everyone and even seems to violate the individual’s privacy. According to Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier foundation, this monitoring system might not be something that people would accept easily because most of the members of these sites expect their post to be private and only shown to people close to them such as their families and friends. FBI decided not comment on this issue first.
As we all know, privacy is very important to every individual, and FBI’s plan to monitor social networking sites may cause a lot of people to feel uncomfortable because their privacy is being invaded. So what can you say about this FBI plan? Do you agree or not?
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