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US Government Using Social Networks for Spying

1 minutes
October 21, 2010
![](/u/2010/08/07/eff-logo.png) The [Electronic Frontier Foundation](http://www.eff.org/) warned this week that US government agencies are actively using social networking sites such as [Facebook](http://www.facebook.com/) and [Myspace](http://www.myspace.com) to spy on people. Agencies named include the [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services](http://www.uscis.gov/) (USCIS) and the [Department of Homeland Security](http://www.dhs.gov/) (DHS). The EFF raised concerns that the breadth of the surveilance program was concerning, altough it did acknowledge that the DHS monitoring of social networks was appropriate, and that they were attempting to apply "Fair Information Practice Principles". USCIS officers had apparently been instructed to “friend” citizenship petitioners and their beneficiaries on social networks in the hope that these users will (perhaps inadvertently) allow agents to monitor their activities for evidence of suspected fraud, including evidence that their relationships might not live up to the USCIS’ standard of a legitimate marriage. I have no objection to the general concept of law enforcement monitoring my activities in a public space - this is really no different from having police officiers walking down your street, but the ease with which the govementment can automatically monitor _**every**_ public conversation on social networks is more than a little scary. I can't wait for the day when [Diaspora](http://www.joindiaspora.com/) is mature enough to use, and I can take control back of my data.