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FBI friends Facebook, Google to get closer to you?

CALEA the New York Times two pretty big elephants in the room

  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service "is specifically instructing its agents to attempt to 'friend' citizenship petitioners and their beneficiaries on social networks in the hope that these users will (perhaps inadvertently) allow agents to monitor their activities for evidence of suspected fraud, including evidence that their relationships might not live up to the USCIS’ standard of a legitimate marriage," the EFF said.
  • Leading up to President Obama’s January 2009 inauguration, the Department of Homeland Security established a Social Networking Monitoring Center (SNMC) to log "items of interest" -- not just on general networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Flickr, but sites that focus specifically on certain demographic groups such as MiGente and BlackPlanet, news sites such as NPR, and political commentary sites DailyKos.

Privacy advocates

"The Commerce Department and State Department have questioned whether it would inhibit innovation, as well as whether repressive regimes might harness the same capabilities to identify political dissidents, according to officials familiar with the discussions."

Helen A.S. Popkin is always going "blah blah blah" about online privacy, then she asks you to friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter ...because that's how she rolls.