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U.S. Funds Chat-Room Surveillance Study


Benevolent Dictator
DP Veteran
May 19, 2004
Reaction score
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Source=Yahoo News

TROY, N.Y. - [size=-1] Amid the torrent of jabber in Internet chat rooms — flirting by QTpie and BoogieBoy, arguments about politics and horror flicks — are terrorists plotting their next move?
[size=-1] The government certainly isn't discounting the possibility. It's taking the idea seriously enough to fund a yearlong study on chat room surveillance under an anti-terrorism program. [/size]

[size=-1]A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer science professor hopes to develop mathematical models that can uncover structure within the scattershot traffic of online public forums. [/size]

[size=-1] Chat rooms are the highly popular and freewheeling areas on the Internet where people with self-created nicknames discuss just about anything: teachers, Kafka, cute boys, politics, love, root canal. They are also places where malicious hackers have been known to trade software tools, stolen passwords and credit card numbers. The Pew Internet & American Life Project estimates that 28 million Americans have visited Internet chat rooms.[/size]
Maybe they will find folks talking about debatepolitics.com. :)

Actually, the question at hand is privacy. In the full story it mentions watching instant messages between two private parties - all in the name of terror.
Are they going to hold EFnet or AOL accountable for the content of the chatroom?
I can smell there this is going and it stinks.
I'm going to throw this in with other ideas such as faked moon-landings, multiple shooters, and tracking devices in our tooth fillings.

There is reference to both chat rooms and forums. For both media, I would suggest that the data is too overwhelming to be of any use to any intelligence gathering agency. A program like this one would not be cost effective on a grand scale, but might be usable when focused on chat rooms or forums that are a known hang-out for terrorists.
The internet is not private. So claims of invasion of privacy are BS. Never has been, never will be.
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