Spooks Can’t Snoop: Twitter To Ban UK Government And Security Services From Accessing Public Data
21st Century Wire says…
Straight off the bat, this appears to be strategic ‘window dressing’ by Twitter. With fluctuating shares and an ever increasing trend of disgruntled users switching to alternative platforms such as Gab to avoid ‘shadow bans’ and preserve free speech, Twitter now adopts this perception management of ‘standing up to government and state intelligence’ to reassure users.
So Twitter has ‘blocked the British government and MI5’. What about MI6 and GCHQ, the British equivalent of the NSA. Is this a partial block on specific security services or fullspread.
“Twitter allows the government to access profiles as freely as any other user, but opposes any attempt to pull data for the purpose of surveillance.”
Why would the government or security services have to pull primary data in the first instance when they can simply apply HUMINT on a profile. An example of an instance when data would be pulled would be to access ‘metadata’, which is the ‘data about the data’, and helps triangulation of a ‘target’ or ‘asset’. Perhaps this is what Twitter mean?
The Investigatory Powers Act was signed into British law in December 2016 which allows security services, amongst other agencies to view up to twelve months of an internet users browser history. If Twitter gives a red flag, then agencies scoot around this and proceed to other collection methodology.
And besides, Twitter faces hot water if they try to block a ‘legitimate’, genuine request by authorities to access data which could help an investigation, e.g. a missing, abducted child or adult etc.
A ‘block’, is not as simply in this case as it seems.
More on this report from RT…
Twitter has blocked the British government and its domestic spy agency MI5 from accessing data on potential terrorist threats in a bid to tackle its “surveillance” plans, according to the Telegraph.
Twitter will impede police and the intelligence service attempts to gather user data to identify terrorist plots.
Government ministers have slammed the company over the move, but their criticism seems to have been in vain.
Twitter allows the government to access profiles as freely as any other user, but opposes any attempt to pull data for the purpose of surveillance.
In a post in November, Twitter’s Vice-President Chris Moody expressed the company’s commitment to “social justice.”
“Recent reports about Twitter data being used for surveillance … have caused us great concern. As a company, our commitment to social justice is core to our mission and well established. And our policies in this area are long-standing,” he wrote in a blog post.
Moody then turned to slam the indiscriminate use of APIs, or application programme interfaces, consisting of a series of codes and functions through which developers can create new apps in pre-existing platforms like Twitter.
“Using Twitter’s Public APIs or data products to track or profile protesters and activists is absolutely unacceptable and prohibited.”
Although the company has blocked police and MI5 access for the purpose of snooping on user data, it still sells data to developers seeking public trends and interests through Gnip, a former start-up which is now part of Twitter.
“Over the coming months, you’ll see us take on expanded enforcement and compliance efforts, including adding more resources for swiftly investigating and acting on complaints about the misuse of Twitter’s Public APIs and Gnip data products,” Moody added.
Twitter has already blocked the CIA from accessing its data after it emerged it had signed a deal with Dataminr, a third party company which is also thought to have been working with the Home Office.
Twitter owns five percent of Dataminr, the only company having real time access to its data.
Ministers have already hit out at the company for failing to do enough to tackle terrorist propaganda videos and networks from spreading online.
The news also comes after Home Secretary Amber Rudd last month called on police and intelligent services to be granted access to social media platforms’ encrypted messaging systems in a bid to thwart future terrorist plots.
Khalid Masood, who killed five people with his car and a knife on Westminster bridge and the Parliament estate at the end of March, is thought to have used the encrypted messaging platform WhatsApp moments before the attack…
Continue this report at RT
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