Friday, February 25, 2011

Barry's Perfect Weapon

"We think the government, as many of us have said throughout the day, needs to turn the Internet and social networking sites back on" -Robert Gibbs, statement on Egypt

Thanks to Mr.Matt Greenop many people now know the theory of the infamous Facebook-CIA connection (which you can see here) which in short links Facebook's funding from Peter Thiel (now on the Board of Directors) and venture capital firm Accel Partners to groups like VanguardPAC and In-Q-Tel (a venture capital firm founded by the CIA in 1999). He then backs up his evidence with quotes from Facebook's terms of use and privacy policy which basically says facebook can gather information on you, and even further backed up by the fact that the CIA was posting job ads on facebook back in 2007.

Well this all seems facinating, but some ill-worded legal documents and some investors that are somewhat connected to the CIA don't mean James Bond's buddies are sitting on the other side of your facebook profile examining your every move... but I don't think Greenop's research into the subject is done. Over the last few years, more information has been unveiled showing even more of a connection. Lets start with the people that work there. Mark Zuckerburg, the founder, was personally asked by the CIA to help develop the specs for the new A-Space (analytic space) which shares information between agencies, and additionally has met with President Obama multiple times. Elliot Schrage, VP of Global Communications, Marketing and Public Policy, formerly worked for the Council of Foreign Relations, and testified against China to the House Committee on Foreign Relations through that group. Ted Ullyot, VP and General Counsel, did legal directly for Alberto Gonzales, George W. Bush, and Antonin Scalia before working for facebook. Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandburg was formerly the Chief of Staff for the Treasury. Once again though, these are only mere connection, not solid evidence.

The solid evidence is the scary part. First is the the story of the Salahi's, more widely known as the "White House Party Crashers." If you remember, the Secret Service found the pictures through facebook. I can be the first to say, if I was searching all of facebook for pictures it would either take me forever, or I would hit some strict privacy settings... just doesn't work out. What we see in all is that the original investors had direct connections to the CIA, nearly all the facebook executives have many connections to high level government, facebook's policies state that it can share all your information with the government, and finally physical proof that the national government has used facebook for its own purposes. In all it seems that facebook undoubtedly has strong government ties and uses.

It is at this point that current news made more sense. A proxy war that Americans didn't even know we were fighting. Iran, Libya, China, even al-Maliki's government in Iraq (who's removal from office was called for by Hilary Clinton and Carl Levin in 2007) were several of the highly effected governments of the Jasmine Revolution. Three governments shunned from the approval of the American government. Why did the revolts spread to China while skipping right over the Islamic and somewhat repressed Afghanistan and Pakistan? Why Has the Obama administration been sitting back watching it unfold with little to no comment? And why have leaders like Gadaffi made a point to try and cry out to the United States at the moment of their final demise? There has been one thing in common with all of these revolts though. One menace that seems to set them all off. One thing that has intertwined the revolts and pushed them through - Social Networks.

In the last few weeks, the Obama administration's response to the revolts was for those governments to keep the Internet, and specifically the social networks available to the people. It leads one to wonder if the United States does have control over those wonderful little social networks, and what they could do with such a tool. Who knows... they could start a revolution.

Robert Gibbs White House Press Conference

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