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Social Media and The Secret Service Visit

The story is actually not surprising but it's disturbing and revealing.
It seems a chap who subscribes to the newsletter of MF/PL member Citizens for Legitimate Government (and is a friend and supporter of that organization) got a visit from the Secret Service. Now, let's be clear. If you publicly say anything that could be construed as a threat to the President of the United States, you may be visited by the Secret Service -- its job is to protect the President and it does so very very aggressively. It also is a security service, not an investigative service, so it's rules (such as they are) are a tad less stringent when it comes to visiting you. You pretty much have to speak with them or you're farming a whole lot of grief.
The activist, identified as "Chad Smith" in a recent post on the CLG site by Lori Price, was stunned to get a two hour visit recently from a pair of Secret Service guys whose interest in him was piqued by his involvement in a peaceful demonstration called "Seize DC". That title, so powerfully evocative of so many things, may have triggered some Secret Service algorithm or maybe it was...yep...Facebook and Twitter.
It seems that Chad and other demo organizers were using those social networking "tools" to communicate about said action and Chad, appropriately outraged, speculated that these federal services are "trolling" those social networking services.
But we all knew that. They not only troll them, they filter them. They gather information in a highly organized fashion through some mechanism that filter info based on some keywords or something or other. If I knew, I'd denounce the hell out of their undemocratic butts but they don't share that info with me. :-) We do know, because they acknowledge and the companies that run these social networks clearly state, that the FBI and CIA both gather information daily and in a highly organized way. So why wouldn't the Secret Service?
Point is, for all activists, if you are using these Social Networking sites, the government is gathering information on you...everything you put in there as well as the contact information for everyone networking with you. Is this surprising? Of course not. Does this mean we use something else? Well, it doesn't necessarily mean you don't use Facebook. Of course you do. Just be conscious of what you're saying and doing and remember that there are alternatives for certain types of communication.
But one thing needs to be clear. This Doomsday thinking sometimes shared that "anything I do on the Internet can be seen by the government" is just plain wrong. You can use good old email and encrypt the message and nobody but the person who is receiving it can read it. Even using unencrypted email makes reading your messages harder than if you are doing it via Twitter or Facebook.
Anyway, here's the link to the CLG story:
http://www.legitgov.org/Secret-Service-visits-CLG-member-asks-about-SeizeDC