I came across this interesting presentation about Facebook and it’s connections to the US Government. It highlights that the people who initially funded (and still funds) this website are linked to US Government Agencies; namely Department of Defese (DoD), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Information Awareness Office (IAO). It raises more questions…. ???

The amount of data they have about each user! Every minute detail about most of us. From your educational history to employment. Facebook could generate mass statistics, any marketing company would be dying to get. What do they do with it? Are they using us? IAO was established in 2002 (after 9/11) to collect any information they could get about every person in the world. From your Internet usage to personal history; they have it.

Mark Zuckerberg assures that they do not reveal your personal information to anybody. Unless, of course, they are forced to reveal certain information through a subpoena or court order. He also mentioned that user details (collectively) are used in marketing, but no individual details of a particular user is given to any third party. Anyway, we Maldivians do not have any control over our own personal data. Our constitution does not protect it. Does it? I might be wrong. However, UK Data Protection Act 1998 gives citizens full control over their data. It is against the law, for any company to process anyone’s information in a database without the user’s consent. It is an offense to keep data without updating it. It an offence to sell your data to someone else. It’s quite the same in United States, protected by the Privacy Act of 1974.

How much do you reveal about yourself on the Internet; Facebook in particular. How much does US Government know about your whereabouts. Status updates in Facebook is quite helpful sometimes. It’s the job of intelligence agencies to collect data. Hehe. But shouldn’t we know about it.

How many of you cared to change the default privacy settings on Facebook. They’ve recently given users more control over how much information they share with others and with whom they share; their friends, networks they belong, or the whole world. Anybody can search the whole Facebook community without even having to register. It’s a recent feature as well. Earlier this month, they’ve revised the privacy policy as well. It might be worth going through it. I know, most people don’t even care to ready a policy before checking “I’ve read and agree with your terms and conditions”.

Judge for yourself and be warned!!! I hope the Facebook founder is not being a government puppet. He’s done a good job so far and we should applaud.



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