Mike Yamamoto of CNET highlights an article that reports the NSA is mining data from social networking websites:
Now, however, a much larger interested party has taken to scouring social networks in search of information: the federal government. According to this article in New Scientist, the National Security Agency "is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks."
The government embarked on ambitious data-mining operations throughout the Internet after the 9/11 attacks, as reported by News.com and others. Yet the wild growth of MySpace and other social sites has raised the gathering of mass information to a new level: "By adding online social networking data to its phone analyses," the article points out, "the NSA could connect people at deeper levels, through shared activities, such as taking flying lessons."
We're letting the government build the technology that could bring about Big Brother. Of course, George Orwell would have never thought we'd voluntarily share the details of our lives in public, so that the government could surveil us. And of course, the Government purports to surveil the activities of the general population by computer in order to protect us from our enemies. But, it seems like a slippery slope to me. And a person more versed in politics and the novel, 1984, might be able to better draw the parallels better?