Use of Social Media by Secret Agencies to Trace and Spy on People By: Alia Rehman Date: 1 August 2014
Ever thought if your government cared about you enough to know everything about you? Have it ever crossed your mind that whatever you do in your private life, stays in your private life? Ever felt that developed countries such as USA know that you exist? Well, the answer to all the above questions is in affirmative. Your government not only cares enough about you to know everything about you but also spends money to monitor your moves, just like USA does.
The simple fact is that your personal life is not your personal life anymore. Why, because of the very internet that you are currently using to go through this blog. Internet is a must, no denying that. You cannot function in the modern world without being on Internet. You give out personal details on every website that asks for it whether it is your emailing service or your social networking website. They ask for your personal information such as your city, postal code etc and you give it all out. Do you think it can be made any easier to trace you out? Most people use social networking website to narrate their life on it. They mention their hobbies, likes, dislikes in some detail on these social networking websites.
Now the security agencies are using tools that link them to every database out there that keeps information of their site’s visitors (and that’s almost 90%). Security agencies monitor what kind of hobbies you have, what kind of friends you have, how you spend your daily life, what kind of hobbies are you into, what websites do you visit on a regular basis. All of these things are being checked and if you fit a particular profile, you are going to be checked a lot more.
In today’s world, with all the security threats and terrorism out there, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that governments are taking maximum measures at any cost. This includes the right of keeping your private life, ‘private’. There is no such thing as a private life now. We are living in a world that is not safe for anyone and security agencies make sure that they have all the right information about every person of interest out there. And we can be sure that we are not making it difficult for them. Just take a view of your facebook friends, there aren’t many people out there who want to keep their lives personal anymore. Few people realize that once you have clicked on the ‘post’ button, there is always going to be a digital footprint of that information that will never go away. The main problem is that your information is not just being viewed by your own government; it is being viewed by others as well.
So let’s get into it a bit deep, how someone can trace me through just my facebook account. Well, obviously, government agencies have softwares to do all the auto analysis and stuff. However, we are going to go through the algorithm of specific software. It gathers all the places you have checked in lately. If you are a social person, there are going to be many places. If you are not that social, it narrows down the search. So the restaurants, cinemas etc of a particular area where you have checked in the most, is most likely the area where you live. By determining the nature of these check-in spots, a person can easily determine whether this person likes to eat out, drink, watch movies etc. You can also determine where this person is most likely to be on any particular day (for example, your gym on Mondays or Wednesdays) or your office (on weekdays) or on vacation. All of this information can simply be determined by analyzing your check-in spots (and here you thought; what harm this will do).
Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, who became famous for leaking a lot of secret documents of U.S Military and Diplomats, he also talked several time about this issue:
"Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented."
"Here we have the world's most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to U.S. intelligence."
The whole idea behind this blog is to let you know that everything you do on Internet is being monitored and traced. So be careful while you are sharing your personal life over these forums. There are certainly going to be people out there who want to take advantage of your private information. Always keep in mind, someone is always watching you!