According to this article by the Associated Press, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) goes through 5 million tweets a day.
At the agency's Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the "vengeful librarians" also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms - anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.
From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt.
Reportedly, these "snapshots of opinion" are then compiled into a daily intelligence report for President Obama.
|“Patrol officers receive digital maps of today’s 'crime forecast.'”|
|Amazon Faces a Fight Over Its E-Books|
|Facebook: The Starbucks of Social Media|
|England Turning Into Brazil|
|Apple Computers Apps To Require Approval Just Like the iPhone?|
|“Session replay scripts collect can’t reasonably be expected to be kept anonymous.”|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|iotacons: Pixelated Art by Andy Rash|
|Knowing how to operate a smartphone does not qualify as being tech savvy.|
|“Governments around the world are dramatically increasing their efforts to manipulate information on social media.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“When automation starts displacing lawyers, accountants and bankers, then we might see some push-back.”|
|“A photograph of the last male northern white rhinoceros.”|
|“A fraudster poses as an attractive woman and encourages a man to masturbate in front of a webcam.”|
|“Semis, not personal cars, are the smartest use of autonomous technology.”|
|“The education industry as a whole is a con.”|
|“The homemade airplane does indeed fly!”|