Permanent LinkPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:51 am ... 534&pnum=0

Was facebook really started by the CIA? Now I don't use facebook, myspace or any of those other sites admittedly, but when I first saw this article some months back it really made me wonder if the story could be true.

If the CIA really did start facebook, do you know how much information could be gathered from this operation?
Even though I don't use facebook, just about everyone else I know does.

I have heard family and friends discussing this useful little apparatus and explaining that you can find anyone on there. Well obviously not everyone on there, but quite a few people.

is a dark side to the success story that's been spreading across the blogosphere. A complex but riveting Big Brother-type conspiracy theory which links Facebook to the CIA and the US Department of Defence.

From what I understand of facebook it's social networking, so you know someone, then they are on your list, and people can go onto your profile if you don't have your privacy on, and find out who you know, and then go onto their profile and find out who they know, etc. Now that alone in and of itself is pretty violating, but can you imagine if the CIA really did start it?

Facebook's first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome 'The Diversity Myth', he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC.

The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company's key areas of expertise are in "data mining technologies".

Big bucks from big brother for social networking? The link to the Information Awareness Office is what's concerning. The IAO if I remember correctly is what became of the project to have 1 million spies.

It was when a journalist lifted the lid on the DARPA's
Information Awareness Office that the public began to show concern at its information mining projects.

Wikipedia's IAO page says: "the IAO has the stated mission to gather as much information as possible about everyone, in a centralised location, for easy perusal by the United States government, including (though not limited to) internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, driver's licenses, utility bills, tax returns, and any other available data.".

That is some pretty good food for thought if you are a facebook user. Because I don't use the service, I don't feel it wise to comment further, but for those who do, maybe it's something to think about. Usually we complain about our online privacy, but it seems at other times we might just be a little too liberal with it.

Parts of the IAO's technology round-up included 'human network analysis and behaviour model building engines', which Facebook's massive volume of neatly-targeted data gathering allows for.

Wondering if the IAO is using this to gather information, what are they learning about how we act, behave, and how better to control a population of social creatures?

Well if you were not a little paranoid before, I hope I just added to your day. :-)




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