Although OSINT (open-source intelligence) has been around for a very long time, people continue to over-share photos, info, everything on social media which I believe lowers a reasonable expectation of privacy for society as a whole. Social media is not private; it's fair game. And all the feds have jumped on the social media data-mining bandwagon. The FBI wants a data-mining social media app , but InformationWeek pointed out that the CIA, DHS, and "the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA)--also are interested in mining the Web for picking up clues about public opinion or world events for use in their respective missions."
To be fair, it is publicly available info, long used by wise social engineers, yet it's a bit unnerving to ponder your 'dissent' could be misconstrued and dumped into a government database such the massive DHS database of secret watchlists. It's not new since even back in 2010, the ACLU reported that spying on free speech was nearly at Cold War levels. Also in 2010, the EFF warned that Big Brother wants to be your friend on social media. The data gobbling, spying and e-hoarding is at epidemic levels. Just this week, in DHS Napolitano's speech to the press, she said, "Think of it this way--if we have to look for a needle in a haystack, it makes sense to use all of the information we have about the pieces of hay to make the haystack smaller."
Sophos Naked Security called social media "the ultimate career squasher." According to a Microsoft survey, plenty of people suffer negative consequences like losing a job or health insurance after posting unwisely. Yet even if you are very private and very careful, a "friend" (perhaps frenemy) might take something privately shared with them and re-share it on social media. Let's say you don't post pictures, or if you do that you strip out the geo-tagged data first, don't tweet, Google+ or otherwise tell 'the world' what is happening offline or about your life. So if you are not trolling and not doing anything illegal, do you think your comments on websites don't matter? Well Homeland Security must think those comments are important, as seen in records from EPIC's FOIA request. As part of a $11 million contract with General Dynamics, DHS said "to monitor public social communications on the Internet. The records list the websites that will be monitored, including the comments sections of [The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, the Drudge Report, Wired, and ABC News.]" With the data hoarding that happens, you never know when that comment might come back to bite you.
By: Ms. Smith