• Searching social media sources by geography

    Geofeedia, has created a group of algorithms that can search multiple social media sources by geography in real time; the postings, pictures, and tweets that show up in the results of a search are geolocation-enabled, are free, and results can be streamed on a mobile device, computer, or tablet. Businesses may have to pay a fee for more intensive searches

  • iPhone app lets border crossers determine best time to cross U.S. border

    Excessive border waits cause $2.5 billion in losses annually to the San Diego regional economy, with typical two-hour delays for trucks at commercial crossings into San Diego County costing the county $455 million in annual revenue from reduced freight activity; new “crowdsourced” information app allows motorists to decide the best time to cross the border by car or truck; the app’s information is meshed with the data on wait times at the border from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to improve the accuracy of the wait times

  • Law-enforcement agencies eager for Web-surveillance tools

    Private technology firms are pitching software capable of analyzing large swaths of the Internet to local law enforcement looking for ways to stop the next mass shooting or domestic terrorist event before it happens; police departments hope the software will help them detect online information from terrorists, traffickers, pedophiles, and rioters

  • ACLU-sponsored app keeps police accountable

    A new app from the ACLU of New Jersey allows people securely and discreetly to record and store interactions with police, as well as provide legal information about citizens’ rights when interacting with the police

  • New Facebook app detects pedophiles, criminals

    Researchers have developed a new privacy solution for Facebook; the Social Privacy Protector (SPP), developed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) undergraduate students, can help parents adjust their children’s profiles in one click, prevent criminals from gathering valuable personal information, and keep teens safe from pedophiles

  • DHS forced to release list terms it monitors on social media

    Following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Electronic Privacy Information center (EPIC), DHS was forced to release its 2011 Analyst’s Desktop Binder; the binder, among other things, contains a list of words DHS uses as triggers of suspicious communication when the department’s analysts monitor social media

  • Using Twitter to share information after a disaster

    A new study shows how people used Twitter following the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan, highlighting challenges for using the social media tool to share information; the study also indicates that social media have not changed what we communicate so much as how quickly we can disseminate it

  • FBI seeking wiretap-ready Web

    As communications have changed in recent years from the traditional telephone system to the Internet, the FBI has found itself facing greater difficulty in carrying out surveillance operations; the agency is asking Internet companies not to oppose a coming proposal which would require them to provide a surveillance backdoor

  • Facebook, antivirus providers in Internet security campaign

    Facebook, Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and Sophos have joined in a campaign to make it easier for Facebook users to stay safer and more secure online

  • The Red Cross, emergency response, and Twitter

    Social media has become such an integral part of our lives that emergency responders are now turning to Twitter and Facebook to gain valuable information during natural disasters or crises

  • NATO commander target of persistent Facebook cyberattacks

    The senior commander of NATO has been the target of repeated Facebook-based cyberattacks that are believed to have originated from China; Admiral James Stavridis is the subject of a campaign to gain information about him and his colleagues, friends, and family

  • DARPA holds $40,000 competition to test social media in disasters

    To better understand how emergency responders can leverage social media tools, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is holding the$40,000 CLIQR Quest Challenge

  • House grills DHS for monitoring Twitter, Facebook

    Earlier this year reports surfaced that DHS had awarded General Dynamic an $11 million contract to engage in monitoring of social networks; members of both parties including blasted DHS officials for potentially violating the First Amendment and collecting information on citizens engaged in protected political speech

  • Al Qaeda wants to be your “friend” and “follower”

    Hackers attacking databases is just one facet of online terrorist activity; international terrorist organizations have shifted their Internet activity focus to social networks and today a number of Facebook groups are asking users to join and support Hezbollah, Hamas, and other armed groups that have been included in the West’s list of declared terror organizations

  • DHS social media monitoring policy under fire

    DHS’ tactics of gathering intelligence via social media has drawn sharp criticism from privacy advocates with one group filing a lawsuit against the department