Tag Archive for Social Media

Joint Chiefs of Staff White Paper on Social and Cognitive Neuroscience Underpinnings of ISIL Behavior

This White Paper makes a significant contribution to the study of terrorist behavior in general and ISIL behavior in particular. Unique in this work is the melding of neuroscientific considerations about the basic structures and functions of the brain with social and cultural influences in order to provide a holistic insight into the motivations for terrorist behaviors. Importantly, this paper also explores the relationship between the narratives that support terrorist behavior and the neuro-cognitive processes that contribute to those behaviors. That relationship is accurately portrayed as symbiotic in the sense that one can only truly understand seemingly aberrant behavior if one understands the continuous ebb and flow of chemical and cultural influences that are manifested in an individual’s actions.

(U//FOUO) Colorado Fusion Center Bulletin: Law Enforcement Officers Should Minimize or Eliminate Social Media Footprint

The Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) is disseminating this awareness bulletin to help law enforcement officers and military personnel to minimize their social media footprint and protect their identity and family. Recent calls for attacks against law enforcement officers by foreign terrorist organizations and recent reports released by the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s Detention Interrogation Program may exacerbate tensions or even spark violence against officers, intelligence personnel, government officials, and their families. This awareness bulletin seeks to make general recommendations to limit an individual’s digital footprint and diminish a violent actor’s targeting capability.

FBI Notifications: Malicious Cyber Actors Targeting U.S. Government Networks and Employees

The FBI and NCIS believe a group of cyber actors have been using various social networking sites to conduct spear phishing activities since at least 2011. FBI and NCIS investigation to date has uncovered 56 unique Facebook personas, 16 domains, and a group of IP addresses associated with these actors. These personas typically would attempt to befriend specific types of individuals such as government, military, or cleared defense contractor personnel. After establishing an online friendship the actor would send a malicious link (usually through one of the associated domains) to the victim, either through e-mail or in a chat on the social networking site eventually compromising the target’s computer.

NYPD Operations Order 34: Use of Social Networks for Investigative Purposes

Data contained within social network sites may assist law enforcement in gathering timely information in furtherance of crime prevention, preservation of public order, and the investigation of criminal activity, including suspected terrorist activity. These guidelines are promulgated, in part, to instill the proper balance between the investigative potential of social network sites and privacy expectations.

Social Media and Tactical Considerations For Law Enforcement

The use of social media is a relatively new phenomenon in policing. Development of formal policy on social media is generally lagging behind practice. A variety of legal, civil rights, and privacy-related issues regarding social media have been raised, but these issues have not yet been settled by legislatures or resolved in the courts. Social Media and Tactical Considerations for Law Enforcement summarizes discussions at a national conference of police executives on these issues, and analyzes the experiences of selected law enforcement agencies in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom that have shown leadership in advancing the use of social media for various purposes. Police agencies can use social media to facilitate two-way communications with the public to disseminate information, manage political demonstrations and other major events, obtain intelligence about “flash mobs” or rioting, and investigate crimes.

DHS Inspector General Report: Additional Oversight Needed of Operational Use of Social Media

DHS and its operational components have recognized the value of using social media to gain situational awareness and support mission operations, including law enforcement and intelligence-gathering efforts. However, additional oversight and guidance are needed to ensure that employees use technologies appropriately. In addition, improvements are needed for centralized oversight to ensure that leadership is aware of how social media are being used and for better coordination to share best practices. Until improvements are made, the Department is hindered in its ability to assess all the benefits and risks of using social media to support mission operations.

(U//FOUO) U.S. Air Force Notice on Use of Social Networking Sites for Computer Network Exploitation

Nation-state adversaries regularly use accounts on popular social networking sites to facilitate social engineering against DoD members. Information disclosed or discovered on social networking sites creates a significant operations security (OPSEC) concern and in the context of a wide spread collection effort could be by adversaries to form a classified picture.

U.K. Crown Prosecution Service Guidelines for Prosecuting Social Media Communications

These guidelines set out the approach that prosecutors should take when making decisions in relation to cases where it is alleged that criminal offences have been committed by the sending of a communication via social media. The guidelines are designed to give clear advice to prosecutors who have been asked either for a charging decision or for early advice to the police, as well as in reviewing those cases which have been charged by the police. Adherence to these guidelines will ensure that there is a consistency of approach across the CPS.

DHS Social Media Monitoring and Situational Awareness Initiative Privacy Compliance Review

The Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS), National Operations Center (NOC), has statutory responsibility to (1) provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture for the federal government, and for state, local, and tribal governments as appropriate, in the event of a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster, and (2) ensure that critical terrorism and disaster-related information reaches government decisionmakers. Traditional media sources and, more recently, social media sources such as Twitter, Facebook, and a vast number of blogs provide public reports on breaking events with a potential nexus to homeland security. By examining open source traditional and social media information, comparing it with many other sources of information, and including it where appropriate into reports, the NOC can provide a more comprehensive picture of breaking or evolving events.

DHS Privacy Policy for Operational Use of Social Media

This Instruction applies throughout DHS regarding the access to and collection, use, maintenance, retention, disclosure, deletion, and destruction of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in relation to operational use of social media, with the exception of operational use of social media for: (a) communications and outreach with the public authorized by the Office of Public Affairs; (b) situational awareness by the National Operations Center; (c) situational awareness by Components other than the National Operations Center, upon approval by the Chief Privacy Officer following completion of a Social Media Operational Use Template; and (d) the conduct of authorized intelligence activities carried out by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, the intelligence and counterintelligence elements of the United States Coast Guard, or any other Component performing authorized foreign intelligence or counterintelligence functions, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12333, as amended.

DHS Media Monitoring Desktop Reference Manual

A manual for the Department of Homeland Security’s Media Monitoring Capability that was reportedly obtained by EPIC via a FOIA request. The manual has been slightly redacted by DHS to remove names and contact information and the URL of the Network Operations Center Media Monitoring Capability reporting website. This website has been listed in three of the four publicly available manuals as an example of a website monitored by DHS.

DHS Testimony on Social Networking and Media Monitoring

Social media are web-based and mobile technologies that turn communication into an interactive dialogue in a variety of online fora. It may be appropriate for the government, including DHS, to use social media for a variety of reasons. The President has challenged his Administration to use technology and tools to create a more efficient, effective, and transparent government1. DHS recognizes that the use of social media by government actors must occur with appropriate privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections; whether DHS is disclosing its informationand press releases via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, reviewing news feeds for situational awareness, or researching identified, discrete targets for legitimate investigatory purposes. Accordingly, DHS has created Department-wide standards designed to protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties in each category of its use.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York Sentiment Analysis and Social Media Monitoring Proposal

Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“FRBNY”) is extending to suppliers an invitation to participate in an Sentiment Analysis And Social Media Monitoring Solution RFP bid process. The intent is to establish a fair and equitable partnership with a market leader who will who gather data from various social media outlets and news sources and provide applicable reporting to FRBNY. This Request for Proposal (“RFP”) was created in an effort to support FRBNY’s Social Media Listening Platforms initiative.

(U//FOUO) NSA Social Networking Sites Security Guide

A social networking site (SNS) is a web-based service that allows communities of people to share common interests and/or experiences. Rather than using direct point-to-point communication to stay in touch (e.g., face-toface, phone, text/video messages), SNSs allow users to publish information that can be read later by other users (a one-to-many form of communication) and follow their friend’s postings and provide comments. SNSs provide innovative methods for interacting with friends through third-part applications, such as simple games (tic-tac-toe, paper-rock-scissors), interactive maps to show places visited across the world, and quiz/trivia games which allow for score comparison with others. Many SNSs also allow users to logon from mobile devices that have web browser access to the Internet, allowing them to check and update their accounts from virtually any location with a Wi-Fi or cellular signal.

(U//FOUO) U.S. State Department Social Media Landscape: Portugal

Social media usage in Portugal is growing and it is recognized by organizations as a useful communications tool, particularly amongst consumer brands. Although, the government has invested heavily in schools IT infrastructure, it is yet to embrace social media as part of its overall communications strategy and there remains great potential for the government or political parties to fully utilize social media. Similarly, there are cases of media outlets engaged in social media activity, although these are the exception, rather than the rule. The 16-24 year old age group is leading the digital movement in Portugal; it is this group which has benefited most from the unprecedented level of government investment However, it is important to recognize their predecessors, the 25-34 year old age group are also heavy users of the Internet.

(U//FOUO) U.S. State Department Social Media Landscape: Finland

Finland has a high level of Internet penetration and usage in comparison to other European nations. However, whilst the technology and capability exists to facilitate for a vibrant social media landscape, the conservative Finnish national character in conjunction with online security fears can be seen to be restricting this potential growth. In line with most European nations it is the younger age groups, namely 15-24 year olds who are most active online in Finland, whilst people who live by themselves are also active online participants. Most people access the Internet at home, however educational establishments are also common locations and many schools, colleges and universities are well equipped with IT facilities and Internet access. Men typically use the Internet as an information resource, whilst women and younger people use it as a communication tool.

(U//FOUO) U.S. State Department Social Media Landscape: Norway

Norway boasts an active online community with high Internet penetration rates in comparison to the rest of Europe. In addition, access rates are high and spread fairly evenly across demographic groups, age ranges and locations. A range of social media activities are popular, including blogging and content sharing, however social networking is the most prominent activity, with Norwegian Facebook users now exceeding 2 million. A large number of Norwegian companies have an active social media presence with Facebook and Twitter the platforms of choice. Whilst, usage is high, few companies at present measure or evaluate social media and there is a reluctance to divert resources for this purpose. Social media is emerging as a defining behavior of Internet usage in Norway, and the government has been keen to harness social media as a potential engagement and consultation tool. The government is also in the process of designing an innovative electronic voting system to increase voter turnout, which is hoped to be trialled in 2011. The government clearly appreciates the value of a digitally inclusive society and has set an ambitious target of supplying broadband connectivity to the entire country. In order to aid digital inclusivity the Government also ensures the text on public websites is suitable for older and weak sighted people. In keeping with most of Norwegian society, politicians, journalists and NGOs are all increasingly using social media as a communications tool.

(U//FOUO) U.S. State Department Social Media Landscape: Romania

Internet penetration and usage in Romania is still relatively underdeveloped in comparison to the rest of Europe, with availability and usage limited mainly to Bucharest, the capital city. As a result, social media usage is also generally focused around Bucharest. As well as geographical limits for Internet activity, social demographics play a large part in determining Internet usage; with professionally-employed, university educated citizens representing by far the largest community active online. Amongst Internet users, social media use is growing in popularity; particularly social networking sites, blogging, photo and video sharing, and microblogging. Businesses are beginning to identify opportunities to use social media as part of their communications strategies. The government and state services have been slower to adopt social media, although individual politicians are experimenting with the media for campaigning purposes. While Romanian is widely used, English is the common language for conversation via social media in Romania. Politics is a very popular topic of conversation amongst Romanian Internet users, particularly given recent levels of political uncertainty. Concern currently exists that the lack of regulation over the Internet, combined with the real-time nature of the medium is devaluing the quality of content being consumed by the public. Although Internet use is low compared to the rest of Europe, social media are establishing a relevancy to Romanian society as a means to connect; share and debate and we can expect their use to grow.

(U//FOUO) U.S. State Department Social Media Landscape: Belarus

The Internet and social media are in early stages of development in Belarus. The lack of infrastructure and the cost of access mean that the online community is characterized by affluent, educated middle classes from the metropolitan areas of the country (especially Minsk). Internet in Belarus has not yet achieved the penetration necessary to be socially representative. Despite the accessibility challenges, social media are still proving popular, particularly amongst younger demographics. Online information sources and especially social media, promise an impartiality that is often lacking in Belarusian mass media channels, which many consider to be overly influenced by the national government. From a political point of view, this has meant that opposition parties have been swifter to experiment with online engagement to gain public support, although their use of social media as strategic tool for campaigning is still relatively experimental.