I cannot tell you how many “friend” requests I get a day on Facebook. I know it’s not because I’m the most popular guy on social media, but more likely because I run a couple of very large Facebook pages and write quite a bit of internet content. I typically do not respond to most of the requests, not because I’m a “snob”, although I’m sure a few people might feel differently, but it’s mostly because I just don’t know them.
Some of the requests seem to be typical contacts from foreign countries looking to make connections with Americans, which makes little sense to me since I don’t speak any other language fluently enough to keep up. except for maybe “southern”, but that doesn’t really count.
Yet some of them seem “legit” enough to believe, or enticing enough to contemplate clicking accept, but I still hesitate, again simply because I do not know them personally. Although I have accepted requests from people I don’t know (usually they must have at least 10 “friends” in common for me to even consider it), but it is not very often.
I won’t say it’s because I’m paranoid, because that is not the right answer, but I’m a bit more cautious as I read more and more horror stories about “internet stalkers”. I really don’t want to have to shoot someone to protect my home and family, so I limit that type of exposure.
Now with all this being said, I will get a little “tin foil” hat-ish here and let you decide for yourself as many conspiratorial sites are speaking out on this very topic, one such is Conspiracy Club, which validates my statement “conspiratorial” right within their name:
The Feds are on Facebook.
U.S. law enforcement agents are following the rest of the Internet world into popular social-networking services, going undercover with false online profiles to communicate with suspects and gather private information, according to an internal Justice Department document that offers a tantalizing glimpse of issues related to privacy and crime-fighting.
Think you know who’s behind that “friend” request? Think again. Your new “friend” just might be the FBI.
The document, obtained in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, makes clear that U.S. agents are already logging on surreptitiously to exchange messages with suspects, identify a target’s friends or relatives and browse private information such as postings, personal photographs and video clips.
Now whether or not your “Tin Foil” Stetson is too tightly wrapped or not, these reports are not just being spewed by the likes of Alex Jones, but the major networks are reporting about it as well, simply because the information is out there for all of us to consume.
A document, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit is making it crystal clear that U.S. agents have been logging on to many of the most popular social media sites to exchange messages with known suspects while targeting their friends and relatives and browsing the private information posted on those sites.
It is now public knowledge that federal agents are using the internet world, going undercover into the nether regions of the interwebs using fake profiles to gain private information, then using that information to apprehend the “bad guys”. Unfortunately for many of us, they get to decide “who” the bad guys are.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a San Francisco-based civil liberties group who through a lawsuit filed in federal court, obtained a Justice Department document that underscores the importance of using social media networking sites to gain needed information to assist the U.S. authorities.
As Orwellian as it all this sounds, I do know there is very little we can gain from worrying about such things, although it does reflect the tempo of our modern technology. I know that until we can all agree that we have an inherent right to privacy, our government is going to continue utilizing every method possible to “protect” its citizens, even if that deemed protection might possibly infringed upon our constitutional rights.
Patrick James has worked as a firefighter/EMT for several services throughout the years, as well as a custom metal fabricator, certified personal trainer and chef.
Growing up in the rural suburbs of Detroit, it was during his frequent trips to Northern Michigan where he learned of his love for hunting and fishing. Spending several of his adult years in upstate South Carolina, his love of extreme sports took root in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains as he learned to rock climb and kayak.
“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and vanish into air.” ~ John Quincy Adams