New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon’s National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology – specifically the forthcoming “semantic web” championed by the web standards organisation W3C – to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.—Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites
Can’t say I’m surprised. I dislike the implications they attached to the semantic web though. The New Scientist doesn’t make up anything and yes, more machine readable content is more readable for all machines, including the NSA computers but the problem is the NSA spying on everyone, not the added efficiency of moving towards the semantic web. The technology is not built for the NSA and the fact the fuckers will use it for shady purposes doesn’t render the technology evil. (I know that’s not what the article says but it leans too much in that direction for my taste)
[Update] danah offers up a very interesting view of the situation and what it entails.