The Pentagon Is Surveilling You, Looking for Mean Tweets

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The Pentagon trolls the Internet for mean tweets about generals. They must get an earful about Milley and Austin.

They have sophisticated surveillance tools that can pinpoint anyone’s location.

The U.S. Army Protective Services Battalion protects the top brass in the military, and as part of their duties, they scan social media.

The Intercept broke the story. They write:

“There may be legally valid reasons to intrude on someone’s privacy by searching for, collecting, and analyzing publicly available information, particularly when it pertains to serious crimes and terrorist threats,” Ilia Siatitsa, program director at Privacy International, told The Intercept. “However, expressing ‘positive or negative sentiment towards a senior high-risk individual’ cannot be deemed sufficient grounds for government agencies to conduct surveillance operations, even going as far as ‘pinpointing exact locations’ of individuals. The ability to express opinions, criticize, make assumptions, or form value judgments — especially regarding public officials — is a quintessential part of democratic society.”…

The procurement document — published in redacted form on an online clearinghouse for government contracts but reviewed without redactions by The Intercept — begins by describing the Army’s need to “mitigate online threats” as well as identify “positive or negative sentiment” about senior Pentagon officials.

They collect data from entire forums, and really don’t want you to know they’re doing it, the article states.

“Left unregulated, open-source intelligence could lead to the kind of abuses observed in other forms of covert surveillance operations,” said Siatitsa, of Privacy International. “The systematic collection, storage, and analysis of information posted online by law enforcement and governmental agencies constitutes a serious interference with the right to respect for private life.”

 


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