They call this the information age and Social communications has reformed the shift of knowledge globally, enabling people to connect instantaneously and share knowledge as its happening. While this seems to be a good idea, and in many cases it is, we must take into account who are the ones that are managing these programs, what are their plans and how much influence do these mega companies actually have?
Too many people, these tech monsters may seem to be nothing more than opportunistic companies that have transformed the industry and are simply seeking profits and development.
Let’s begin with this enigma, are Google and Facebook more than simply a search engine and social media program?
Many of you would have responded to this enigma with a single yes or no but to completely understand the impact that these tech monsters use, not only in our own individual lives in the observation of fact, but on issues, people and governments encompassing the world.
To demonstrate this there is a current article by Tony Cartalucci. Google and Facebook have verifiably worked for the US State department in pursuance of regime change and toppling governments whilst forming the public perception to achieve social political goals on behalf of Wall street and Washington for years.
Furthermore, this can be observed and documented in countries such as Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen amongst others. Now clearly there’s some more going on at Facebook and Google, than internet searches and profile updates.
The fact that these companies are operating so intimately with the US government and other governments should be a cause for concern for everyone.
These programs have secured a global monopoly that enables them to control what information you have access to, and we frequently see that the limitations or restriction that is taking place on these platforms is politically motivated.
For instance, it was announced Facebook suspended 30,000 french accounts just prior to the french election. In an attempt to supposedly prevent the spread of false news and misinformation.
Critics are suggesting that this was politically motivated suppression, targeting Le Pen’s support.
Google and Facebook have been all over the news concerning censorship and your free speech is at risk.
In Germany, the tech monsters could face up to $54 million penalties for not banning false news and hate speech.
Immediately next door to Germany, an Austrian court had just announced that Facebook is expected to stamp out regionally defined hate speech all over the globe. Therefore, if this decision holds up, Facebook and by extension, its users will be subservient to a foreign government, nevermind your first amendment.
As Cartalucci shows, other countries are starting to take more seriously the control of the respective information space. Following years of allowing US-based tech monsters Google and Facebook to monopolise and abuse them.
Vietnam is the latest country to take steps to start promoting local options in the search engine and social media network, in order to re-balance the monopoly over information.
The US government can lawfully access your Facebook information.
It’s 2016 and the end of the year is nearly approaching, and information concerning government ill-usage of power started streaming in and according to Facebook’s Global Government Requests Report, government’s appeals for Facebook account information increased 27 percent in the first half of 2016.
Facebook’s official statement revealed that demands for user information went from 46,710 in the last half of 2015 to 59,229 in the first half of 2016. At least 56 percent of these requests included a non-disclosure order that banned them from informing the user.
Furthermore, Facebook acknowledged that governments made use of them to spread information.
Facebook has openly acknowledged that its program has been used by governments trying to manipulate public thinking in other countries, including during the presidential elections in the US and France, and agreed to clamp down on such information operations.
In a white paper authored by the company’s security team, the company reported well-funded and ingenious methods used by countries and other groups to cast misleading information and lies for geopolitical purposes.
These efforts go well beyond fake news and incorporate content seeding, targeted data gathering, and false accounts that are used to elaborate one particular view, plant distrust in political institutions and spread chaos.
They have had to increase their security focus from conventional sadistic performance, such as account hacking, malware, spam and monetary scams, to include more indirect and stealthy methods of abuse, including efforts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people.
In its attempt to clamp down on information operations, Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France before the presidential election. The company announced it was a priority to eliminate suspicious accounts with large amounts of posting activity and the largest audiences.
The company further disclosed how it watched several situations that match the design of information operations throughout the US presidential election. The company discovered malicious actors utilizing social media to distribute data taken from other sources such as email accounts with the intent of harming the reputation of specific political targets.
This method involved constructing dedicated websites to host the stolen data and then generating social media accounts and pages to point people to it.
At the same time, a separate collection of malicious players designed bogus Facebook accounts to erroneously elaborate stories and reports linked to topics shown in the stolen data.
Facebook did not stipulate which stolen data it was pointing to, but we know that tens of thousands of emails were hacked from Clinton operations chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account and published by Wikileaks.
Neither did Facebook credit the manipulation to any nation-state, although it stated that the company’s inquiry does not contradict the conclusions of a January report by the US Director of National Intelligence that outlined Russian involvement in the election.
Russia has further been linked to the hacking of French presidential frontrunner, Emmanuel Macron, according to a report by researchers with Japanese anti-virus firm Trend Micro.
Facebook promised to monitor endeavors to manipulate the program, to generate innovative ways of distinguishing fraudulent accounts, teach at-risk people about how to keep their information secure and support civil society programs around media literacy.
In today’s information climate, social media plays a sizable position in promoting information, not just in terms of civic affairs, such as elections, but in daily expression. In some cases, nevertheless, they must acknowledge that the danger of malicious players attempting to use Facebook to cheat people or otherwise promote inauthentic information can be higher, especially if they are supposedly one of the malevolent participants.
Numerous privacy advocates are concerned about the degree to which tech companies are becoming unofficial government intelligence agents, giving over data about their users to the feds without the users ever realizing it except if they’re charged with a crime.
It came to the front when Twitter argued back against a gag when the Department of Justice called it for information about Wikileaks advocates, supporters who then claimed that Facebook and Google had probably complied with government demands for information that they had obtained.
It turns out that users may never realize their social media accounts were scrutinized even if they are charged with a crime. Reuters went through years of court filings to produce real proof of tech firms complying with law enforcement warrants without warning their users.
Reuters obtained two dozen cases following 2008 of judges letting agents from the FBI, DEA, and ICE poke around in individuals’ Facebook accounts in incidents of speculated pyromania, seduction, and terrorism.
In some instances, the parties hadn’t realized this until Reuters called them about it.
Several of the warrants asked a laundry list of personal data such as communications, status updates, links to videos and pictures, schedules of future and past events, wall postings and declined friend requests. Really, declined friend requests, now that’s getting personal.
In a 2008 handbook for law enforcing, Facebook defines the sort of data it provides, extending from Neoprints, typically a user profile page screenshot and Photoprints, a snap of all the photos a person has uploaded, to IP logs, contact details, and group members.
Secret, closed-door negotiations were ultimately made public after an agreement was reached by the US Government to buy the social media giant Facebook for $10 billion. Negotiations started in March 2015 when Mark Zuckerberg chose to step down from his podium, cash out and concentrate on being a family man.
Exactly what does that mean for you, and the additional 1.06 billion Facebook users, and the privacy concerns that may encircle you with Facebook’s new keeper, the United States Government.
There is no doubt that Facebook has been a runaway triumph, but for who? It has been long speculated that Facebook has been supplying data to the NSA, CIA and other government entities and that they excessively use this site to watch the online activity of Facebook users.
The US government has already been found taking dodgy steps with personal privacy. Consider that the NSA has been frequently censured for bulking masses of data from cell phone corporations without the awareness or permission from cell phone users.
With this in mind, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that a government agency might want access to your Facebook data.
There’s no disputing the data obtained by Facebook from its users is relevant to a point and there is no issue that the US government has been found collecting private data without people’s approval. Does this suggest the government now has an even greater agenda before them?
The government has made increasingly frequent requests for information from ISPs (Internet service providers), telecom firms and other social media sites. However, the data created by Facebook users has been the government’s main source of the American people.
Insiders with confidential information state that Mark Zuckerberg is weary of the growing requests from government entities. Finally, it has driven him over the edge to sell. Nevertheless, $10 billion is not a bad payday.
But will you keep your Facebook account? And are you concerned about the privacy concerns?