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UK Spies Collecting Social Media Data

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on October 19, 2017 3:57 PM

The British are not necessarily coming, but they may be closer than you think.

According to reports, British spy agencies are collecting social media information on potentially millions of people. That likely includes people with Facebook and Twitter accounts.

It's not clear if the information only pertains to subjects of the United Kingdom, but we all know James Bond has no boundaries.

Privacy International

Privacy International, a global privacy organization, broke the case open last year when it obtained "a cache of 46 documents" from UK security agencies, TechCrunch reported at the time.

One document revealed that the majority of the data amassed contained "personal data about a wide range of individuals, the majority of whom are not of direct intelligence interest."

"The papers released today act as proof of, and show the sheer scale of, British intelligence agency surveillance of our personal data," Privacy International said. "It goes far beyond monitoring our text messages, email messages, and social media posts.

The records include a broad swipe of information in the government's "Bulk Personal Datasets," which may include medical records, financial information, internet and phone information.

Social Media

The newest revelation -- from a draft report summarizing an audit of the BPD's last month -- identifies "social media data."

"It can be the case with less structed databases, such as social media data, that it is possible to obtain any type of data," the Investigatory Powers Commission said.

IPCO, an oversight agency, began auditing the UK's spy activities this year, including snooping by MI5 and MI6. And you thought those agencies were just for the movies.

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