The CIA is investing in social media surveillance much more
AP Photograph/J. Scott Applewhite
Now that even terrorist organizations are savvy with social media, the CIA’s funding arm, In-Q-Tel, is pouring extra money into corporations that assist make sense of noisy social networks. As The Intercept reviews, In-Q-Tel quietly made investments in Dataminr, an organization that makes use of a Twitter stream to identify tendencies and threats for authorities; Geofeedia, which collects geotagged social posts; PATHAR, an organization that instantly mines social accounts for ties to terrorism and radicalization; and TransVoyant, which additionally screens social networks.
In-Q-Tel has been making bets on comparable corporations during the last decade, so these investments aren’t notably surprising. However they present what’s essential to the company as we speak: It wants strong instruments for checking out every little thing occurring on social networks. These 4 corporations are only a handful of the 38 new investments revealed by The Intercept, by way of a program from this yr’s CEO Summit. The agency additionally invested within the likes of Lookout, which focuses on cellular safety, and Transient Electronics, which is creating dissolvable semiconductor tech.
Whereas higher social media evaluation is sensible, there’s additionally the hazard of unlawfully singling out individuals based mostly on their race or faith, says Lee Rowland, a senior employees lawyer on the ACLU. Our potential to sift out knowledge from social networks is progressing far quicker than the legal guidelines defending civil rights, so it is value questioning how, precisely these corporations get outcomes.