Next generation Total Information Awareness? Software tracks people’s movements and behavior with social media
Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm, by Ryan Gallagher, The Guardian, Feb 10, 2013
A multinational security firm has secretly developed software [named RIOT, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology] capable of tracking people’s movements and predicting future behaviour by mining data from social networking websites. A video obtained by the Guardian reveals how an “extreme-scale analytics” system created by Raytheon, the world’s fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. …But the Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security system capable of analysing “trillions of entities” from cyberspace. ….
For full text of the article, visit Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm | World news | The Guardian.
- Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm (guardian.co.uk)
- New ‘Google For Spies’ Mines Social Media, Builds Profiles, Predicts Future Locations (businessinsider.com)
“… it would be a mistake to “over-learn” the lessons that the Arab revolutions have taught about information, technology, and power. While the information revolution could, in principle, reduce large states’ power and increase that of small states and non-state actors, politics and power are more complex than such technological determinism implies.
In the middle of the twentieth century, people feared that computers and new means of communications would create the kind of central governmental control dramatized in George Orwell’s 1984. And, indeed, authoritarian governments in China, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere have used the new technologies to try to control information. Ironically for cyber-utopians, the electronic trails created by social networks like Twitter and Facebook sometimes make the job of the secret police easier.”
For full text of this thought provoking article, please visit The Information Revolution Gets Political by Joseph S. Nye – Project Syndicate.
Responding to Liability: Evaluating and Reducing Tort Liability for Digital Volunteers
By Edward Robson, Esq.
Major emergencies and crises can overwhelm local resources. In the last several years, self-organized digital volunteers have begun leveraging the power of social media and “crowd-mapping” for collaborative crisis response. Rather than mobilizing a physical response, these digital volunteer groups have responded virtually by creating software applications, monitoring social networks, aggregating data, and creating “crowdsourced” maps to assist both survivors and the formal response community. These virtual responses can subject digital volunteers to tort liability. This report evaluates the precise contours of potential liability for digital volunteers. Published by the Commons Lab of the Science and Technology Innovation Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, September 2012.
To download a PDF of the free report, visit the Commons Lab Scribd webpage here.
To read a follow up blog post by the author, visit the Commons Lab Blog “Calling for Backup – Indemnification for Digital Volunteers (November 7, 2012)”
To watch a video of the author discussing liability for digital volunteers, visit the Commons Lab YouTube webpage here.
- Opportunities and Challenges in Crisis Informatics (slideshare.net)
Commons Lab, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, December 2012
We are inundated daily with stories from the news media about the possible impact social media like Facebook and Twitter will have on our lives. When a storm like Hurricane Sandy hits the East Coast, can this technology actually help to save lives and reduce catastrophic damages? It’s possible. For instance, mobile devices could allow emergency responders, affected communities, and volunteers to rapidly collect and share information as a disaster unfolds. Photos and videos provided through social media could help officials determine where people are located, assess the responses and needs of affected communities—such as water, food, shelter, power and medical care—and alert responders and citizens to changing conditions.
At least that is the promise. When Hurricane Irene barreled across the Eastern seaboard in August 2011, many in the news media cited it as a pivotal moment for social media for disasters. But research we conducted on the use of social media during Irene suggests otherwise. While some emergency management departments launched new social media outreach strategies during the storm, particularly to push information out to the public, many did not change their practices radically and overall use of the technology varied.
This article explores the challenges of effective use of social media for disaster response, read more here.
- Social media changes disaster response (brucehensler.typepad.com)
- One County’s Social Media Stats: Hurricane Sandy (idisaster.wordpress.com)
- Social Media In a Disaster: From Hoaxes to Healing (blogs.sap.com)
By Will Oremus, Slate Magazine, Dec 14, 2002
When something momentous is unfolding—the Arab Spring, Hurricane Sandy, Friday’s horrific elementary school shooting in Connecticut—Twitter is the world’s fastest, most comprehensive, and least reliable source of breaking news. If you were on the microblogging site Friday afternoon, you were among the first to hear the death toll, watch the devastated reactions, and delve into the personal details of the man the media initially identified as a killer. But there’s also a good chance you were taken in by some of the many falsehoods that were flying, like a letter one of the young victims purportedly wrote to his mother before the shooter entered the classroom. And, of course, all of those social media pages that were making the rounds turned out to belong to innocent people, including the real suspect’s brother.
For full text of the article, visit Social media hoaxes: Could machine learning debunk false Twitter rumors before they spread? – Slate Magazine.
- Building a Better Truth Machine (slate.com)
- Predicting the Credibility of Disaster Tweets Automatically (irevolution.net)
- Social Media In a Disaster: From Hoaxes to Healing (blogs.sap.com)
by Jay Yurkiw, Technology Law Source, October 23, 2012
In a recent decision, a court in the Southern District of Ohio denied a motion to compel the plaintiff in an employment discrimination action to give the defendants her user names and passwords for each of the social media sites she uses. In Howell v. The Buckeye Ranch, Case No. 2:11-cv-1014 (S. D. Ohio Oct. 1, 2012), the court said “[t]he fact that the information defendants seek is an electronic file as opposed to a file cabinet does not give them the right to rummage through the entire file. The same rules that govern the discovery of information in hard copy documents apply to electronic files.” Applying this reasoning, the court held that the defendants’ discovery request was overbroad because turning over the plaintiff’s user names and passwords would give them access to “all the information in the private sections of her social media accounts—relevant and irrelevant alike.” Although the court denied the motion to compel, it did find that relevant information in the private section of a social media account is discoverable, and that this information is not privileged or protected from discovery by a common law right of privacy.
For the full discussion and citations to other related cases, visit the Technology Law Source at Discovery of Social Media Information is Subject to Same Rules as Paper Discovery : Technology Law Source.
- Day 1: Thursday, September 13th from 8:30 AM to 5:35 PM Eastern, and
- Day 2: Friday, September 14 from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM Eastern
Dr. Lea Shanley is the founder and former co-Chair of the Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science, a vibrant community of 200 federal employees from more than 35 agencies. She is also a co-founding member of the Citizen Science Association. Dr. Shanley recently served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA, where she helped to foster a culture of open innovation. Prior to this, she founded and directed the Commons Lab at the Wilson Center, served in the US Senate as a Congressional Science Fellow, and worked with local and tribal communities to develop GIS-based decision support systems for city planning, natural resource management, coastal management, and disaster response through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog of links to relevant news, events, and reports, provided for educational purposes only. The opinions and views contained therein are those only of the authors of the original articles. These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the editor of this blog or or associated organizations.
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