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Facebook and it's CIA connections.


The Chameleon
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Big Brothers, Big Facebook: Your Orwellian Community

A few days ago I stumbled across a couple articles mentioning TheFacebook, and a little start-up capital they happened to get in the sum of $13 million. The number intrigued me, so I did a little more research, a little more stumbling, and found something that even I still have a hard time accepting. So, here's what I came up with:

(p.s. - I'm hoping that someone from EFF or people concerned with privacy rights will take notice. This really worries me and a lot of my friends.)

TheFacebook.com, created in February of 2004 by 21 year old Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, is a student social network now active at more than 800 campuses, with more than 2.8 million registered users. [1] Among its features, TheFacebook allows a user to upload a picture of themselves and can include information about their favorite music, books, movies, their address, phone number, e-mail, clubs, jobs, educational history, and even political affiliations. Facebook is extremely popular, attracting on average 80 percent of a school's undergraduate population. However, there are some questions raised regarding privacy concerns on the site, and when some digging is done to find out who is really behind the site's management, there are more questions than answers.

The first venture capital money to come into TheFacebook, $500,000 worth, came from venture capitalist Peter Thiel, founder and former CEO of Paypal. [1] A Stanford graduate and former columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Thiel is author of the book "The Diversity Myth," [2] which received praises from notable neo-conservatives such as William Kristol. [3] In fact, Thiel is on the board of the radical conservative group VanguardPAC. [4]

Further funding came in the form of $12.7 million from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Accel's manager James Breyer was former chair of the National Venture Capital Association (NVAC). [1] Breyer served on NVAC's board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, [5] a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. [6] This firm works in various aspects of information technology and intelligence, including most notably "nurturing data mining technologies."

Breyer has also served on the board of BBN Technologies, a research and development firm known for spearheading the ARPANET, or what we know today as the Internet. [7] In October of 2004, Dr. Anita Jones climbed on board, becoming a part of a firm packed with leaders from other areas of Silicon Valley's venture capital community, including none other than Gilman Louie. But what is most interesting is Dr. Jones' experience prior to joining BBN.

Jones herself served on the Board of Directors for In-Q-Tel, and was previously the Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense. Her responsibilities included serving as an advisor to the Secretary of Defense and overseeing the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

While the nearly $13 million that came from Accel to fund The Facebook certainly looks suspicious and unfortunately disturbing after reviewing all of this information, the only problem on the surface seems to be the appearance of some incestuous relationships between the Pentagon, the CIA, and these venture capital firms. But this goes further than just the initial appearances. DARPA shot to national fame in 2002 when John Markoff of the New York Times announced the existence of the "Information Awareness Office" (IAO). [8] According to Wikipedia, "the IAO has the stated mission to gather as much information as possible about everyone, in a centralized 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." [9] Protests came from civil libertarians on both the right and the left who saw the IAO as a new Orwellian arm of the United States government. After Congress investigated DARPA's project, funding was cut off and IAO was essentially dead in the water.

The Information Awareness Office seems to have survived some of its original purposes in a mutated form, found in today's Facebook. In fact, one of IAO's original example technologies included "human network analysis and behavior model building engines," [10] a surprising echo of the social networking mapping that Facebook does using SVG visualizations. [11] Add that to the information that Facebook collects and compare it to the startlingly similar goal of the IAO. It appears at first glance that DoD, along with the CIA, has managed to circumvent its previous Congressionally established limitations and find corporate sponsorship for its programs, under the thin veil of a useful social network for unwitting college students.

And those college students continue to log on to TheFacebook, completely unaware of the massive affronts to their privacy. The so-called "Privacy Policy" [12] of Facebook includes a statement saying that they "may share your information with third parties, including responsible companies with which we have a relationship." It goes on to say that, "We may be required to disclose customer information pursuant to lawful requests, such as subpoenas or court orders, or in compliance with applicable laws. Additionally, we may share account or other information when we believe it is necessary to comply with law or to protect our interests or property. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, agents or government agencies."

Some of the aspects of the privacy policy are downright creepy and confusing. This particular gem is especially disturbing: "Thefacebook also collects information about you from other sources, such as newspapers and instant messaging services. This information is gathered regardless of your use of the Web Site." And there's no telling when the privacy policy may change. As of when this was written (July 1, 2005), the policy was effective as of June 28, 2005.

Who knows where the information they collect about these three million college students, alumni, and professors is going, or what they intend to do with it. The fact that these companies and agencies are all so closely related, and that The Facebook has almost no organizational transparency are all cause for concern. Hopefully we can soon uncover the truth.

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Never mind the CIA (regardless of whether or not it's a conspiracy theory, which it may well be), clearly police forces and schools have already been using Facebook to dig up evidence on people.

I think the point is that people need to realize that putting things online is no different than broadcasting them on TV or the radio, except even more permanent. If you don't want them to be shared with the entire world, potentially for your entire lifetime, then don't put them up there. THe number of people willing to put up photos of themselves packing a bong or in some other "compromising" position is pretty amazing, IMO.

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My last employer sent a notice to all managers involved with hiring that indicated it would be preferred that any new hire, be searched on both facebook and myspace.

Not sure what I was supposed to do if I found pictures of bong packers- but I can't imagine they would be hired if I mentioned it.

This was for the "Irvings" out East........

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cia tampering:

Social-networking site Facebook was temporarily shut down Tuesday to fix a bug, which surprised some Facebook users who found they could access other users' accounts.

Facebook members around the globe complained on various blogs Tuesday about the worrisome glitch. Some users said that after logging on to their Facebook accounts they could access other people's accounts as well as their mail. As well, some people said they were getting messages intended for other users.

Facebook told CBC News that it temporarily shut down its site Tuesday to fix a bug that it had identified earlier in the day.

"This was not the result of a security breach. Specifically, the bug caused some third-party proxy servers to cache otherwise inaccessible content. The result was that an isolated group of users could see some pages that were not intended for them. The site has now been restored, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused," said the company.

Generally, details pertaining to a Facebook member's details such as contact information, relationships and hobbies are private and hidden, unless other users seeking access belong to the member's group of friends or are part of the same school, work or city network.

Members have the option of sharing certain details, such as photos, only with specific users belonging to a certain group.

Facebook's website says, "We built Facebook to make it easy to share information with your friends and people around you. We understand you may not want everyone in the world to have the information you share on Facebook; that is why we give you control of your information."

According to ComScore Media Matrix, in June 2007 there were 11.4 million Canadians who had logged on to Facebook.

Edited by Guest
http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/08/01/facebook.html
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cia tampering:

Social-networking site Facebook was temporarily shut down Tuesday to fix a bug, which surprised some Facebook users who found they could access other users' accounts.

Facebook members around the globe complained on various blogs Tuesday about the worrisome glitch. Some users said that after logging on to their Facebook accounts they could access other people's accounts as well as their mail. As well, some people said they were getting messages intended for other users.

Facebook told CBC News that it temporarily shut down its site Tuesday to fix a bug that it had identified earlier in the day.

"This was not the result of a security breach. Specifically, the bug caused some third-party proxy servers to cache otherwise inaccessible content. The result was that an isolated group of users could see some pages that were not intended for them. The site has now been restored, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused," said the company.

Generally, details pertaining to a Facebook member's details such as contact information, relationships and hobbies are private and hidden, unless other users seeking access belong to the member's group of friends or are part of the same school, work or city network.

Members have the option of sharing certain details, such as photos, only with specific users belonging to a certain group.

Facebook's website says, "We built Facebook to make it easy to share information with your friends and people around you. We understand you may not want everyone in the world to have the information you share on Facebook; that is why we give you control of your information."

According to ComScore Media Matrix, in June 2007 there were 11.4 million Canadians who had logged on to Facebook.

Facebook account now deactivated (again). Email address password used to sign up with now changed.

Thanks for the info, I hadn't heard.

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Seriously are people really afraid of the CIA being able to see their facebook site? I had no idea so many people on here were suspected terrorists and evil doers.

Yeah, it's obviously lame in the U.S. Gov't is using Facebook to track people down, if that is the case. And obviously it sucks if employers look at Facebook profiles to determine if employees are drug users. The way I see it though is if you're going to post pics of yourself using illegal substances then you're probably not looking for the kind of job where there is much of a screening process! If the CIA, the FBI or ANYONE sleeps better at night knowing I belong to the "Nels Cline's solo in "Impossible Germany" gives me hope for the world " group then so be it. I don't see what the big deal is, I'm sure Facebook isn't the only way corporations and government get private information from people.

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Personally, I'm not afriad of the CIA looking at my facebook, there wasn't anything on it to begin with (I registered as Greg R)...I just reactivated mine recently and was more worried about my password for my email gettin scammed.

I'm sure that RCMP/CSIS/CIA/FBI/ have all the info they need on me already. 028ws9.gif

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Y'know, if nothing else the no-fly list is enough to make me avoid starting a myface profile. I mean, if our and their gov'ts have a huge list of random names red flagged, and I have a dozen 'friends' who each have a dozen 'friends' how deep are they gonna have to look to find one name associated with me that is similar to one of the many names on their list.

Perhaps I'm just paranoid 'cuz there's a guy out there that shares my full name and birthdate. It's caused me significant inconvenience twice so far.

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