Searching for terrorists on MySpace

Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites

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.

[The paper] entitled Semantic Analytics on Social Networks, […] reveals how data from online social networks and other databases can be combined to uncover facts about people. The footnote said the work was part-funded by an organisation called ARDA.

ARDA’s role is to spend NSA money on research that can “solve some of the most critical problems facing the US intelligence community”. Chief among ARDA’s aims is to make sense of the massive amounts of data the NSA collects – some of its sources grow by around 4 million gigabytes a month.

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