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"Data Eye in the Sky" Plan Raises Concerns

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

October 12, 2011

Some researchers have come to believe that "the vast resources of the Internet--Web searches and Twitter messages, Facebook and blog posts, the digital location trails generated by billions of cell phones" could be used "to predict political crises, revolutions and other forms of social and economic instability." Based on that, The New York Times reports that the federal government is becoming interested in a program that could create a "data eye in the sky." The experiment, which is being financed by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, would use an automated data collection system to gather publicly available data, but privacy advocates and some social scientists "are deeply skeptical of the project," the report states. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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