Pentagon wants to spy on MySpace

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
Good news for aspiring dictators, not so good for the rest of us.

The Pentagon has started funding a research program that aims to "harvest" information about people en masse from social networking sites (like Myspace, facebook, friendster).

This is after they've been discovered to be tapping people's phone calls illegally.

Bloody scary.

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg19025556.200

"New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals."

Comments

  • Teh_GerbilTeh_Gerbil Stalin's Organist Posts: 13,327
    deary deary.

    We really won't be able to hide anything soon, will we? This probably means they are actually monitoring it already - Just as it says, they are pumping in more money into "mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks.".

    Well, that and the NSA tapping the web - you are aware that MSN is monitored there days too? A little test - check IP address connection to your PC before typing some keywords into MSN. Then if you get their IP... have fun.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    check IP address connection to your PC before typing some keywords into MSN

    And how precisely does one do that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i have a different age income and even gender when filling in software forms so ...when the PTB come to arrest me ...they may well be coming for phyllis!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What about people lying about their personal information? It's just - the information they would obtain from monitoring such websites would not be as credible if they got it from a more reliable source.

    Just a thought ...

    And on top of that, they're going behind our backs and violating our integrity, without our acknowledgement.
  • Teh_GerbilTeh_Gerbil Stalin's Organist Posts: 13,327
    i have a different age income and even gender when filling in software forms so ...when the PTB come to arrest me ...they may well be coming for phyllis!
    :lol: !

    Cland:
    Click start, then run, then type in "command" and press OK. When the program comes up (essentially DOS) type "netstat -x" (Just to bring up the help list.) Then you can use the netstat -# commands (usually -n and -a prove most useful) to check who's connected and soforth.

    So, just head to MSN, plonk in some keywords... and see if any new connections appear... then see if you can find out who from.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    quarfly wrote:
    What about people lying about their personal information? It's just - the information they would obtain from monitoring such websites would not be as credible if they got it from a more reliable source.

    Just a thought ...

    And on top of that, they're going behind our backs and violating our integrity, without our acknowledgement.
    they'll get round that one by making it a criminal offence to lie ont net.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ah, I'll try to make sense of those instructions. Not too sophisticated when it comes to computer tricks.

    so how do you find out who any connections might be?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ah, I'll try to make sense of those instructions. Not too sophisticated when it comes to computer tricks.
    i read it and came to the same conclusion ...deep down knowing in my heart i'm thinking ...sod that!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Land of the free! Where we spy on our citizens!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Land of the freely spied on, correct Renzo!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    land of the willingly spied on.
    we all know it's for our safety and security and increasing happiness.
    welcome to the new world order.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The only problem with this though, is that it isn't spying in any single sense of the word. It's collecting public information, you do have to wonder when people post something public on the net what makes them think only who they want will see it.

    Public information is public information, anyone can use it, it's just that government is gonna have more money to do it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teh_Gerbil wrote:
    deary deary.

    Well, that and the NSA tapping the web - you are aware that MSN is monitored there days too? A little test - check IP address connection to your PC before typing some keywords into MSN. Then if you get their IP... have fun.

    The IP resolves to Microsoft (obviously) - 207.68.183.32

    Pretty much all US network traffic is routed through Langley which is home to Echelon. Setup a packet sniffer and just see where your data is really going.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As far as I was aware Echelon is resident in the UK, not the US. Also all this computer lingo continues to go right past me.

    What specific program would be considered a "packet sniffer" and would that be freely downloadable from the web or must one purchase it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote:
    The only problem with this though, is that it isn't spying in any single sense of the word. It's collecting public information, you do have to wonder when people post something public on the net what makes them think only who they want will see it.

    Public information is public information, anyone can use it, it's just that government is gonna have more money to do it.

    It's on a private website. The internet is public only in the sense that some websites give you nominal permission to view their content.
    It's the same principle as the government filming a party on private property in order to "harvest" information about everyone at that party.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh that's just pedantics, it's a website anyone can look at, why wouldn't a government? After all everyone knows that everything you do on the internet can be traced, all the Ip blocking and spoofing is just stuff to make people feel better.

    It's not like they will be looking at private friend locked sections, just public pages - which is actually more like someone standing on a soap box in speakers corner - shouting for an hour and then being surprised someone heard what they said.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If it's on the internet anyone can see it. If you don't want all and sundry to see your photos or know your taste in music and films (or whatever) then don't post it on the internet.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not really the same.

    Someone speaking in Speakers Corner with the intention of being heard is totally different. So is casually browsing through profiles on a social networking site, it is quite different from a government spying agency using taxpayers money to "harvest", on a massive scale, information from a privately owned website.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If it's on the internet anyone can see it. If you don't want all and sundry to see your photos or know your taste in music and films (or whatever) then don't post it on the internet.

    It's not about people looking at your profile, its about a government agency collecting information and profiling people.

    Why do they want this information? Not so they can find out that you like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but so they can start building a big database of everyone's details. Doesn't that bother you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well it's what they want to do with ID cards isn't it? Collecting a database of information and profiling people. The information that goes on the internet is by no means private, in fact as soon as it's up there it's fair game for anyone who wants to see it. If it bothers you that much, don't make it easy for them to get your information. If it's not up there, they can't get it. As for me, my myspace shows what schools I've been to, and some messages from my sister. If someone wanted to profile me, it would be easy to find out anything on there from other sources not controlled by me, and not on the internet.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As far as I was aware Echelon is resident in the UK, not the US. Also all this computer lingo continues to go right past me.

    What specific program would be considered a "packet sniffer" and would that be freely downloadable from the web or must one purchase it?

    The main Echelon system is in Langley but the UK as well as other countries are also involved.

    You can find a free packet sniffer at @ www.ethereal.com
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not about people looking at your profile, its about a government agency collecting information and profiling people.

    Why do they want this information? Not so they can find out that you like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but so they can start building a big database of everyone's details. Doesn't that bother you?

    Well in the sense of it being a waste of taxpayers money it does... As a database its a bit flawed in only having the details of people who put stuff MySpace, which a) may not be accurate or updated b) only covers a small segment of the population.

    Its a bit like having an Inland Revenue database which only covers people born in March and can't cope with people getting payrises and then using that system to calculate what tax they're going to pay.
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