Skip to comments.Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm
Posted on 02/13/2013 12:10:27 PM PST by 444Flyer
Exclusive: Raytheon's Riot program mines social network data like a 'Google for spies', drawing ire from civil rights groups
A multinational security firm has secretly developed software capable of tracking people's movements and predicting future behaviour by mining data from social networking websites.
A video obtained by the Guardian reveals how an "extreme-scale analytics" system created by Raytheon, the world's fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
Raytheon says it has not sold the software named Riot, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology to any clients.
But the Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security system capable of analysing "trillions of entities" from cyberspace.
The power of Riot to harness popular websites for surveillance offers a rare insight into controversial techniques that have attracted interest from intelligence and national security agencies, at the same time prompting civil liberties and online privacy concerns.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
(snip)"Riot can display on a spider diagram the associations and relationships between individuals online by looking at who they have communicated with over Twitter. It can also mine data from Facebook and sift GPS location information from Foursquare, a mobile phone app used by more than 25 million people to alert friends of their whereabouts. The Foursquare data can be used to display, in graph form, the top 10 places visited by tracked individuals and the times at which they visited them."
Does Foursquare tell the user that his/her information is being passed to law enforcement?
Remember the law that made cell phones incorporate GPS, so that “911 operators would know where you were?” Of course they didn’t tell people that the information was available to law enforcement.
I know it is, and I don’t care.
When citizens are now considered potentially guilty while expected to pay for generous pensions and salaries of bureaucrats who watch us, it isn’t much of a step to instead become a “subject” and considered as a “threat” by those same operatives with a political agenda that may disagree with your own.
The internet was set up as the ultimate honey pot to collect our political and other thoughts and beliefs under the guise it was all anonymous.
People are dolts if you think they don’t mine data. If you own a DVR they track everything you watch and when, guaranteed. Amazon and others, they track what you buy and where you ship it. I am against this latest craze of giving cars black boxes. Just another intrusion on your privacy.
Another article I read about this compares this government program to “stalking”.
“But if you aren’t doing anything wrong then so what.” I used to hear some say that back in the Bush era when the warrantless wiretapping started, and the naivety of the fools that said it raised my hackles then.
When “they” start taking liberties and our liberties by doing it, it all becomes a tool for “them” to use to further enhance political power. They/them = tools of the “Powers that Be” that can be of any political ideology, because politics is about power, not ideology.
Too bad they won’t use it against the ferals playing the knock-out game or the ones flash mobbing and stealing property. It will be used to stifle legitimate dissent against a tyranny. The one thing the government FEARS is individual direct action. The Lone Wolf. And they should.
I don’t use twitter, Facebook, or Foursquare. I have minimized my online presence as much as possible. I only use online accounts where absolutely necessary and I still feel too exposed.
I do not understand the desire to publish to the world everything about yourself.
I typed “big daddy” on a post just now and ta-da! there was an ad for “big daddy” nail polish on the very next thread link I clicked. Howdy, Big Brother.
Our Overlords learned well from the “Arab Spring”.
Ok, Big Bro, turning on the computer in the other room right I posted the above isn’t funny.
I know if I were a deep-cover foreign agent I would certainly be spreading my business all over Facebook.
This software will be used by democrats to keep winning elections.
Harold Finch! Please pick up the white phone nearest you...
It seems to me that the way around this is to create a garbage data generator, that would create plausible fake identities with fake personal information in social media, perhaps many times more than the real data out there.
The reason to do this is a vulnerability to fake data in data mining software. Garbage in still equals garbage out.
Please forgive my ignorance but I’m not a tech or networking pro.....I had thought that all of this had already been in place for years....some elements of it perhaps a decade or more. I had been under the impression that this was the entire ‘actual’ purpose of Facebook and perhaps most other ‘social networking’ sites....to create a ‘fun’ venue where people would be eager to disclose all of their personal data so that it could be mined by advertisers and government entities, and that software has been scouring such sites in the manner discussed here for a very long time.
I’m wondering what is new and groundbreaking about this Riot software? I believe that I have read about pretty much all of the mining elements they’re discussing here over the course of recent years and I confess to being baffled as to what is so terribly new here.
The next generation of gas rationing - it isn’t your day, the government disables your car.
Take information from ALL social network profiles and create a timeline similar to Facebook timeline, showing a person’s activity.
Review the location data embedded in all of the photos you take, create a map of where this person is when pictures are taken. You get a map of where the person has been and when. Useful to verify an alibi, or create a schedule of when and where the person goes.
Build maps and networks of relationships between people, identifying influencers and opinion shapers within social networks - across all social media sites, using software that does it almost at the touch of a button.
The potential for the government has been described like “Big Brother online”. Shut down those few people and profiles, the discussion on a topic you don’t like goes rather quiet. Or track sentiments and groups and find those public discussions that you want to diffuse or undermine. Or those groups growing more disgruntled and start sending friend requests to join in to those groups, so you can listen to their discussions and get invited to invitation only chat rooms. Or look for changes in behavior that show they have moved “offline” to discuss matters.
Defense contractors have also developed software that lets you create a dozen different social profiles and maintain them simultaneously, so that one “update” is spun and posted on all of them to make the accounts look like real people.
Combined with crowd-sourcing tools and artificial intelligence that rates the “tone” of a thread and author on a particular topic, and we’re approaching the point where the government can have a system admin query “show me everyone who hates this legislation / public figure, is actively protesting it and has lots of people listening”. Search, then shut down or infiltrate.