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( pub . 1949) Webmaster's Note, 5/10/2007 - We have been informed by the rights holder that this work is still copyrighted in our territory. So we have removed it. You may still read our original summary though to the left. Also commonly titled as Nineteen Eighty-Four
<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-52029" title="100519-F-6483C-065" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2011/07/100519-F-6483C-065-660x514.jpg" alt="" width="660" height="514" /> You don’t need to have 5,000 friends of Facebook to know that social media can have a notorious mix of rumor, gossip and just plain disinformation. The Pentagon is looking to build a tool to sniff out social media propaganda campaigns and spit some counter-spin right back at it. On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. It’s an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media.
Facebook is reportedly negotiating with Chinese partners to launch the social network in China, where it is currently blocked from use. But expanding into China requires abiding by Chinese laws, which require web companies to censor everything from search results to status updates. Though Facebook says it is dedicated to making the world a "more open and connected" place--a mission that clashes with the Chinese government's frequent crackdowns on Internet expression--a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that it is considering censoring the content that appears on its site in nations abroad. While he did not mention China specifically, Facebook lobbyist Adam Conner told the Journal, "Maybe we will block content in some countries, but not others." (Facebook's director of international communications noted only that the company was "studying and learning about China" but has so far "made no decisions about if, or how, we will approach it.")
Even the most sophisticated security agencies could not have dreamed up something like Facebook ... "Your friends have a lot in common with you, it’s your friends who betray you." Photo: Bloomberg Stored inside a series of ordinary brick buildings beside a sprawling wasteland on the edge of San Francisco Bay are intimate details of your life, relationships and opinions. This information repository is not the headquarters of the FBI or CIA, but Facebook Inc, Mark Zuckerberg's multibillion-dollar social networking behemoth with access to more than 840 million people, and their data. While full-body scanners and CCTV cameras often evoke Big Brother fears, the growing trend in surveillance is much closer to home.
Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg. The website could face be fined €100,000 for holding data that users have deleted. Photograph: Paul Sakuma/AP
Allow me just a little self-congratulatory chest-beating. Four years ago I started writing a near-fiction thriller about the risks of swarms of UAVs in the wrong hands. Everyone I talked to back then (including my agent, alas) thought the subject was implausible, even silly.
Urban Police drones