Monday, November 2, 2009

CIA To Monitor Internet Chatter For Anti-Government Sentiment

In the 2005 movie V For Vendetta, a film about a totalitarian society ruled by a fascist government with an iron surveillance fist, there’s a scene where state spooks drive down a residential street with a gadget that records the conversations people are having inside their homes and gives them a rating on how antagonistic towards the authorities they are.

A frighteningly similar scenario is now on the horizon with the news that the CIA’s investment arm In-Q-Tel is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a company that monitors the output of social media, in order to “Read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon,” reports Wired News.

Of course, the fact that the U.S. government and the military have been overloading the Internet with pro-war propaganda and trolls who are paid to cheerlead for the war on terror and attack critics is an admitted part of their cyberwarfare agenda, and Israel has done the same.

However, the prospect of the CIA closely monitoring social networking websites, whose content largely comprises of inane gossip and sophomoric blabber, shows just how afraid the establishment is of rising popular opposition to their agenda.

“Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. Customers get customized, real-time feeds of what’s being said on these sites, based on a series of keywords,” according to Wired.