Twitter made news in January 2012 for saying it would block certain tweets in some countries. Not much of a surprise there. There is little or no privacy on the Internet and you should not expect any. Social Media is scrutinized by authorities, legal, law enforcement, governmental, employers and hackers. Twitter has started to do something like Google’s transparency report. It can be found here. http://chillingeffects.org/twitter
You can see Google’s Transparency here. http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/
It isn’t only foreign governments that are interested in social media. One the most interesting stories that surfaced in the media is concerning Narus and AT&T. Narus makes NarusInsight. According to Narus, its flagship product NarusInsight is capable of capturing webmail traffic including email, chat, calendaring, draft folders, and much more. A single server running NarusInsight can view the combined traffic of several million broadband users. This was in 2007; five years later we can only expect that the software and hardware can only do more.
Many Arab countries beside our own government use NarusInsight, again no surprise there. With the Arab spring they may not have utilized the collected information to their advantage.
The CIA, FBI and Homeland Security use Twitter, Facebook, Goggle+, and other social media sites. The US government does not have a transparency report but it does issue reports per various laws requiring some transparency. We can get a little insight into our government’s surveillance by looking at the Federal Wiretap report. In 2010, Federal and State courts issued 3,194 wiretaps. This is an increase of 34% over 2009. Drugs are the major offense of why the wiretaps are requested. Today’s wiretaps cover wire, oral and all forms of electronic communications (I.e. social media, email, chat, etc.).
Takeaway… Everyone uses Social Media. Expect no privacy on the Internet. Even if you don’t use the Internet, remember your family members close and far may, and your friends may. End result one way or the other information about you is on the Internet and likely some of it can be found on a social media site.
Food for thought... Last year almost 500 million smart phones were shipped. All of todays smart phones have cameras. What photos of you are on the Internet?