Surprised? The government gathers info on you via social networking sites

Surprised? The government gathers info on you via social networking sites
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People using social networks should be aware that it’s not just future employees who might be looking at their information. This excerpt from an official document explains how U. S. government workers can obtain more information to add to their internal case management system (called the Fraud Detection and National Security Data System, or FDNS):

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
415 North Third Street
Yakima, WA 98901

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Social Networking Sites and Their Importance to FDNS

The Internet has made it increasingly easier for people to get connected with each other whether that is with long-distance family, friends, or to find new loves and friendships. Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Classmates, Hi-5, and other similar sites are designed to allow people to share their creativity, pictures, and information with others. Sometimes people do this to find romance, sometimes they do it to find friends with similar interests, and sometimes they do it to keep in touch with family. Narcissistic tendencies in many people fuels a need to have a large group of "friends" link to their pages and many of these people accept cyber-friends that they don’t even know. This provides an excellent vantage point for FDNS to observe the daily life of beneficiaries and petitioners who are suspected of fraudulent activities. Generally, people on these sites speak honestly in their network because all of their friends and family are interacting with them via IM’s (Instant Messages), Blogs (Weblog journals), etc. This social networking gives FDNS an opportunity to reveal fraud by browsing these sites to see if petitioners and beneficiaries are in a valid relationship or are attempting to deceive CIS about their relationship. Once a user posts online, they create a public record and timeline of their activities. In essence, using MySpace and other like sites is akin to doing an unannounced cyber "site-visit" on a petitioners and beneficiaries.

It then goes on to explain "how a generic social networking website works" and gives examples of sites to visit to obtain friends.

The document was obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

– Govt relies on Facebook "narcissism" to spot fake marriages, fraud, Arts Technica>>

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