Tag Archives | Twitter

Ex-CIA Spy-in-Training Goes Public on Twitter

Ex CIA Trainee“I was with the CIA for about three and a half months before I was sent to their secret psychiatric prison in Northern Virginia. I was a clandestine service trainee in their program so I wasn’t officially a spy yet. I was training to be a spy,” says Lynnae Williams. Reports Eli Lake on the Daily Beast:

The Twitter feed belonging to Lynnae Williams at first glance looks like most Twitter feeds. There are tweets about what she is reading (Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Madame Bovary); tweets about politics (leans toward the Occupy movement); and tweets about food (tuna casserole, carrot-cake muffins).

But on closer inspection, the feed features something rare for Twitter and even the Internet: detailed disclosures about the CIA. On Tuesday for example, Williams tweeted, “The #Farm is #CIA’s training center near #Williamsburg, Virginia. I think it’s the Kisevalter Center or something.”

In other tweets, Williams, who in 2009 spent nearly four months training to be a CIA spy, details her own experiences with CIA case officers, psychiatrists, and the special security division of the agency that serves as the CIA’s police force.

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Twitter Won’t Hand Over Data About OccupyWallStreet Protester

TwitterJohn Paul Titlow writes on ReadWriteWeb:

Barely two weeks after the New York District Attorney asked Twitter to hand over data about an Occupy Wall Street protester, the company says it will not comply with the request, at least for the time being.

The D.A.’s office had sent a subpoena to the microblogging service’s headquarters seeking information about the account belonging to Jeffrey Rae, one of several hundred activists arrested during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York on March 1.

Paul Mills, the attorney representing Rae, filed a motion to quash the subpoena on March 15 on the grounds that the request was in violation of California’s requirements for out-of-state subpoenas. Twitter’s legal department then informed the D.A.’s office that they would not comply with the request until the motion was resolved, Mills tells ReadWriteWeb.

Earlier this week, the D.A. offered Rae what’s known as an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which effectively lifts the subpoena and may lead to the charges being dropped all together.

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Chinese ‘Twitter’ Claims North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un Assassinated

Dead TwitterReports Lucas Shaw via Reuters:
Did social media just prematurely kill off the leader of North Korea? Rumors that Kim Jong-un, the country’s supreme leader, has been assassinated just months after he took power originated on Chinese microblogging service Weibo and have now spread all over Twitter. Others are reporting that Jong-un, believed to be 28 years old, may be on the run rather than dead, but both reports claim that some kind of coup is taking place. One person on Weibo wrote (loose translation): "north korea's biggest leader kim jung un, this morning in beijing time 2:45 am, had his residence broken into and was assassinated by unidentified people, who were shot dead by his bodyguards in korea's embassy in beijing, vehicles are rapidly increasing in number, and have surpassed 30 of them, this sort of battle formation hasn't been seen in over two years. please verify this."
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Twitter Censorship Outrage

twitter outrageTalk about cat amongst pigeons: Twitter’s announcement that it will enable country-specific censorship has the twittersphere in uproar. From Al Jazeera:

In an announcement on its official blog, the micro-blogging service Twitter has said it will enable country-specific censorship of content on the site.

True to the form of the medium, the service was immediately abuzz with questions, criticisms and conspiracies about Thursday’s announcement.

In a bid to show the service can still be used for dissent, some users have called for a boycott on Saturday, organised around the hashtag #TwitterBlackout.

In a Forbes article highly circulated on the micro-blogging site early Friday, Mark Gibbs wrote that San Francisco, California-based Twitter was committing “social suicide” with the censorship announcement.

Gibbs’ article raised fears of an algorithm incapable of understanding the sarcasm that permeate the 140-character blasts comprising the service’s contents.

That “computer-driven” filtering for the up to 9,000 tweets per second the service produced last year could not possibly take context and tone into consideration.

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Somali Rebels Embrace Twitter Terrorism

El Shabbab, the fundamentalist Islamic insurgency group fighting to control southern Somalia, reject most things Western and/or modern, but ironically have embraced Twitter, garnering thousands of followers. In addition to straightforward updates on battles and territory, the best part is the taunting that goes on between the insurgents and Kenyan military spokesman Major E. Chirchir:


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Brits Have Too Many Holidays For A ‘Broke Country’

Screen shot 2012-01-03 at 2.06.38 PMHappy New Year, y’alls.  Looks like at least one of your wishes may have started coming true already.  Dylan Welch from the Sydney Morning Herald reports on Rupert Murdoch’s meticulous documentation of his own descent into senility:

“Either @rupertmurdoch is genuinely now on Twitter, or some disgruntled ex-NOTW journo just won the hacking Olympics.”

Less than two days after joining Twitter, media mogul Rupert Murdoch appears to have had his first brush with tweeting-before-thinking, after suggesting that the British have too many holidays for a “broke country”.

Though Mr Murdoch, who joined Twitter less than 48 hours ago and already has almost 40,000 followers, quickly deleted the message, it was preserved by some Twitter users and quickly spread around the website.

“Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country!” Mr Murdoch, who is holidaying on the Caribbean island of Saint Barthelemy, wrote about 6am Australian time.

Publish and be damned ... the tweet that Murdoch withdrew.

Publish and be damned … the tweet that Murdoch withdrew.

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The Wrong Facebook Friends Can Sink Your Credit Rating

File:Social_Web_Share_ButtonsAdrianne Jeffries explains the downside of maintaining a social media presence for Betabeat:

Let’s take a trip with the Ghost of Christmas Future. The year is 2016, and George Bailey, a former banker, now a part-time consultant, is looking for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a co-op in the super-hot neighborhood of Bedford Falls (BeFa). He has never missed a loan payment and has zero credit card debt. He submits his information to the online-only PotterBank.com, but halfway through the application process, the website asks for his Facebook login. Then his Twitter. Then LinkedIn. The cartoon loan officer avatar begins to frown as the algorithm discovers Mr. Bailey’s taxi-driving buddy Ernie was once turned down by PotterBank for a loan; then it starts browsing his daughter Zuzu’s photo album, “Saturday Nite!” And what was this tweet from a few years back: “FML, about to jump off a goddamn bridge”?

A new wave of startups is working on algorithms gathering data for banks from the web of associations on the internet known as “the social graph,” in which people are “nodes” connected to each other by “edges.” Banks are already using social media to befriend their customers, and increasingly, their customers’ friends.

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Dead Man’s Twitter Feed Keeps Updating

Dead TwitterLast week John Pospisil, the editor of Blorge.com, passed away, but his Twitter feed continued updating, since he’d configured it to re-tweet all the headlines from his group technology blog.

“Eventually I figured it out,” reports one technology blogger, “but it was a big shock to see more messages appearing from John himself on the day after he’d died.” They also dedicated their first ebook to Pospisil, a Thanksgiving children’s story, because “I’d always thought we’d watch the world changing together…”

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CIA Tracks Revolt by Tweet and Facebook

Didn’t we know this already? Reports Kimberly Dozier on the AP:

McLEAN, VA — In an anonymous industrial park, CIA analysts who jokingly call themselves the “ninja librarians” are mining the mass of information people publish about themselves overseas, tracking everything from common public opinion to revolutions.

The group’s effort gives the White House a daily snapshot of the world built from tweets, newspaper articles and Facebook updates.

The agency’s Open Source Center sometimes looks at 5 million tweets a day. The analysts are also checking out TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that people can access and contribute to openly.

The Associated Press got an apparently unprecedented view of the center’s operations, including a tour of the main facility. The AP agreed not to reveal its exact location and to withhold the identities of some who work there because much of the center’s work is secret.

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