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.
|Haystack: Good Luck Finding That Needle|
|Facebook: The Starbucks of Social Media|
|Data Removal Service|
|Weaponizing Mozart: Classical Music for Social Control|
|Atheist Ireland Publishes 25 Blasphemous Quotes|
|Everything We've Learnt About the Surveillance State|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“The cost could be so near to zero it will effectively be free.”|
|“He portrays these abandoned malls as apocalyptic ruins.”|
|Go the Fuck to Sleep: A Children's Bedtime Book|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“Lifting the electric motors out of Teslas and putting them in the chassis of other, formerly gas guzzling cars.”|
|“Rejuvenation is Finally an Industry.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|Sensually Retro Illustrations by Simone Massoni|
|“Put words between buns.”|
|Good Fucking Design Advice|