Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, July 13, 2012
Citing the need to watch for potential sex offenders, Facebook is using software that tracks private conversations for suspicious behavior and keywords before alerting Facebook employees who then decide whether to pass the information on to police.
The revelation was divulged during a Reuters interview with the social networking giant’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan.
Despite the article acknowledging the fact that Internet-related sex crimes against children are on the decrease, the story cites a barrage of cases where children have been groomed online before revealing that Facebook “users could be unnerved about the extent to which their conversations are reviewed, at least by computer programs.”
The software used by Facebook to monitor conversations works by searching “for improper communication” and analyzing “patterns of behavior.”
Words or phrases considered vulgar or an attempt to exchange personal information are red flagged and brought to the attention of Facebook employees, who then decide whether the content is worthy of being brought to the attention of law enforcement.
Too many messages sent without response also sets off an alarm that characterizes the content as suspicious.
The article does not divulge whether or not archives of chat records are stored and for what length of time, but adds that similar software is used by other social networking websites.
On its website, Facebook acknowledges that it shares information about users even in the absence of a court order or other legal request.
“We may also share information when we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, courts or other government entities.”
Facebook has been caught in a number of privacy controversies in recent years.
Back in February, the company angrily denied a report by the Sunday Times which claimed Facebook was secretly reading texts sent by users of its Android app.
The U.S. government is actively involved in soliciting information from Facebook. Last month, the State Department issued a procurement request seeking tools that can provide “deep analysis of topics, conversations, networks, and influencers of the global social web.”
Privacy advocates like Wikileaks’ Julian Assange have repeatedly warned that social networks like Facebook and Twitter are little more than huge spying databases used by intelligence agencies to glean personal information.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.