Monday, March 21, 2011

Humor: CIA's 'Facebook' Program Dramatically Cut Agency's Costs


CIA's 'Facebook' Program Dramatically Cut Agency's Costs

hat tip to the Onion

8 comments:

Weixian Cai said...

Good jab at Twitter! But in all seriousness, and conspiracy theories aside, the video raises an interesting point: for all the fuss we make about defending our privacy and preserving our civil liberties, we really do share a lot of information with the world, and much of the time this sharing is both voluntary and unsolicited. This can easily get us into trouble.

Take the case of Alexandra Wallace, the UCLA student who earned notoriety, received death threats, and eventually left school after she posted a video ranting about Asians at UCLA. The video was unnecessary and unsolicited, and we can debate whether she deserved what happened next, but the fact is that the whole fiasco could have been avoided if she had just exercised her right to free speech in a more judicious manner, instead of shouting it from a virtual mountaintop. Her video is now everlasting in the most public domain we know, and will likely continue to haunt her for a long time to come.

All this raises the question of why our generation is voluntarily sharing so much unsolicited information. Are we more self-absorbed than past generations? Do we believe that the virtual ether of everyone and no one is the new and accepted way to communicate in an age of decreased personal interaction? Are we a generation dying to be heard? And to bring this back to more familiar ground, are definitions of privacy changing and becoming more lax among the younger generation?

Diana said...

If Facebook is helping the CIA save money then it should be something they should take advantage of. People cannot be upset if the CIA is able to uphold a lot of information about them just by looking on their page. By putting your information out there you choose to have your privacy be exposed to everybody in the world. People need to be careful on what they put on their Facebook because it could indeed lead them into trouble with the law. Even though your information can be private, government officials like the F.B.I or C.I.A are able to still uphold your information without your permission. The best advice I can give to someone is not to put certain information on your page at all. If you feel like there are certain information or photos you choose to hide from your friend then I think it is best just to delete that information so it will not haunt you in the near future.

Elizabeth B said...

Haha! Oh my gosh, this video is hilarious and a very clever play on popular culture. I love how it really exposes how ridiculous it is that people are willing to share all of their very personal information on the internet for everyone to see. Many people don’t realize that when they are posting things on Facebook, literally everyone (including the CIA!) can see it.

Maria said...

Funny…but not really! The take-away from this video is a reminder to be conscious of the information you post online. Personally, I am pretty careful not to identify where I am going in my status or to list a lot of other information I believe should remain private. However, not everyone is nearly as careful or as aware.

Just today, my friend—a real friend, not just a Facebook friend—posted a link to Facebook of the house that she rented for next year. This posting is problematic for many, many reasons. Chief among those reasons though is my friend’s safety: I feel that my friend, in posting the link to the house she will be renting, has compromised her safety. The listing, of course, includes not only the house’s address but also includes pictures of house’s interior. I realize that such information is part of all real estate listings online; however, for my friend to literally identify a particular house as where she will be living and show the interior of the home compromises her safety. Thanks for giving would-be attackers your address? Thanks for giving would be home-burglars interior shots of your home?

Recall that during one of our first classes, Ned asked us to find his home address. We were able to find out his home information very quickly. Thus, one might make the argument that my friend, in posting a link to the house she has rented for next year, has not really compromised her privacy; someone who really wanted to find that information could find it and could find it with relative ease. The problem is that my friend just made the finding and the searching a whole lot easier!

This dilemma, to some extent, is reminiscent of the difference between keeping records in a government building and putting those records online and also evokes our conversations about the differences between tribal societies' understandings of privacy and our modern definition. In other words, my friends' posting as well as our course conversations emphasize that privacy and security are indeed related to the ease and the speed with which someone can access information.

This video, a parody but also with a serious content message, should remind us of the importance of safeguarding our information. I think the video and my anecdote should also remind us to share the information that we have learned in this class with our families and friends!

Katie McCafferty said...

I agree, funny video! And I also agree with what everyone has been saying, which is that it opens up a discussion on the fact that our society is so dependent on technology and the internet, and so much of our lives are shared on these social networking sites. It's as though at least half of our lives are spent in this other virtual world, where people seem to have less boundaries and are willing to put so much personal information out there.
I think that should really raise concern on how our society views the usage of the internet..people seem to feel more comfortable sharing more information online, perhaps because they feel like they have something to hide behind. I think this perception needs to be changed in order for the proper regulation of privacy to happen because if people continue to share all of this information without realizing the consequences, it's only going to lead to numerous bad situations.

Brian said...

Ha gotta love The Onion! Although they are being satirical, The Onion is making a serious point. Social networks like Facebook are terrific methods for gathering information on people. People have no second thought posting personal information on theses sites and any information agency would appreciate this willing influx of personal data.If the CIA had created Facebook, they would have access to millions of profiles of users. These profiles would make it incredibly easy for the CIA to follow targets of interest.

Alex M said...

This is just great satire, the onion at it's best. It does satirically display how willing we are to share very personal information that anyone (if they really wanted to) could access. Of course, given Moore's law of the internet, it is to be expected to some extend. The fact that to some varying degree most everyone is participating in some way or another with these various social networking sites goes to show just how necessary they are to live in a modern world. Even if we list our profiles as private and take the safest of security measures, our accepting life within Facebook (etc.) means if anyone really wanted to they have the ability to discover whatever that Facebook page has to display. It's interesting to think of what that means for each person and to reconsider what has been shared on various social media sites

Alex M said...

This is just great satire, the onion at it's best. It does satirically display how willing we are to share very personal information that anyone (if they really wanted to) could access. Of course, given Moore's law of the internet, it is to be expected to some extend. The fact that to some varying degree most everyone is participating in some way or another with these various social networking sites goes to show just how necessary they are to live in a modern world. Even if we list our profiles as private and take the safest of security measures, our accepting life within Facebook (etc.) means if anyone really wanted to they have the ability to discover whatever that Facebook page has to display. It's interesting to think of what that means for each person and to reconsider what has been shared on various social media sites