News reports confirm that governments are now being aided by Facebook to spy on activists who plan peaceful protests. One report reveals that over 300 activists were tracked, detained and in some case deported after organizing events on the popular social networking site.
Also recall not to long ago Julian Assange, of Wikileaks fame, reported that Facebook is being used as spy machine for the US Government.
Julian Assange: Facebook is a “spy machine” for US Intelligence
While talking to Russia Today about recent revolutions in the Middle East and the role of social media, Assange explained that Facebook is “the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations, their communications with each other, and their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to U.S. Intelligence.”
In the interesting interview, Assange added that it’s not just Facebook, but Google and Yahoo as well as all other major U.S. organizations have developed built-in interfaces for U.S. Intelligence. It helps get around the costly and time-consuming serving of subpoenas.
Not that Facebook is run by U.S. Intelligence agencies, but instead of handing out records “one by one,” it saves Facebook time and money to have “automated the process” for spying. Assange believes that all Facebook users should understand that by adding friends, it connects the dots, builds the databases, and does “free work for United States intelligence agencies.”
The EFF previously warned that Big Brother wants to be your friend for social media surveillance.
It’s no surprise that U.S. Intelligence trawls millions of websites, Twitter feeds, YouTube, and blog posts, looking for connections between people, groups, and events. That job must surely be a madhouse right now.
Source: Dj PostL
At that point in time most dismissed Assange’s comments as anecdotal because they were a likely scenario that could unfold. At that point there was no evidence to prove that the government was actually engaging in such activities.
That is until today, when we get our first news report confirming that Facebook is in fact aiding government operatives in spying on peaceful activists.
According to a report by the Associated Press, that protestors have been stopped in their tracks after Facebook aided Israel in cracking down on the group of activists from the UK, France and Belgium who planned their event using the popular social networking site.
According to the report, Facebook allowed government agents to track the activists activities and then create a black-list of people who participated in the planning of the protests.
The group black-listed people was then forwarded to airlines with instructions to prevent the activists from boarding air flights to Israel. Over 200 activists were prevented from flying after being added to the airlines terrorism watch list, according the the AP report.
Still, hundreds of people planning to participate in the protests were still allowed to fly to Israel. However, when they attempted to reach the West Bank on the peaceful solidarity mission they were met by Israeli security forces who participated in spying on the activists using Facebook.
According to the Associated Press reports, over 310 activists have been arrested after landing with several being detained until they can be deported.