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Government Privacy Programming Politics

Pols Blur Line Between Data Mining, Cyberstalking 115

theodp writes "Mother Jones reports on Obama's Digital Gurus, the top-secret team of analytics engineers and scientists led by hipster CTO Harper Reed who work on text analytics, social network/media analysis, web personalization, computational advertising, and online experiments & testing from the campaign's Chicago HQ and satellite offices. For OFA (Obama for America), writes Tim Murphy, there is no such thing as Too Much Information. 'In terms of just the sheer amount of data that political candidates have on you,' says UNC Prof Daniel Kreiss, 'I think everyone finds it creepy.' Still playing catch-up to OFA in its data efforts is Team Romney, which reportedly hired former employees from places like Google Analytics, Apple, Ominture, and in an attempt to reverse engineer the Obama campaign's strategy."
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Pols Blur Line Between Data Mining, Cyberstalking

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  • by davydagger ( 2566757 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @06:28PM (#41724287)
    Are they using this to campaign in the traditional sense or is the line between PR/Advertisement and "Spy Agency" is growing thinner and thinner. After all, the CIA started merely reading russian newspapers and expanded from there.

    Are they gathering information to conduct survailence, and perhaps the type of "blag bag jobs" that become easier and deniable after conducting lengthy intellegence gathering on your subject. Where is the line.

    What safeguards do we have in place to prevent these intellegence gathering PR agencies from:
    Spreading disinformation on enemies, that sounds plausable, based on information they've gathered.
    Digging up dirt on politicians enemies and disemenating it.
    Using the social network to intimidate non-likely voters by having their friends shame and intimidate them into voting.

    Looking up information on critics, and digging up dirt on critics

    Digging up dirt on potential voters to keep them in line with some form of blackmail.

    What system do we have to investigate these people should their massive campaigns succeed and their clients now have the power to pardon or otherwise shield them from the legal proccess after being elected.

    What happens when these PR goons become the new prateroian guard?
  • by Trashcan Romeo ( 2675341 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @07:39PM (#41724607)
    ... call the NSA and tell them to hand over their records of all our electronic communications?
  • by ibsteve2u ( 1184603 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @07:48PM (#41724655)
    ...while the big telecomms and banks...the big retailers...your electric company...your natural gas company...your credit card company that knows just who you donate to...all those chunks of Corporate America that have far more in-depth information on you and far more experience at mining that data - and far, far more interest in seeing Mitt Romney elected...

    Do you suppose they even make Romney and the Republicans pay for that data, or just give it to 'em gratis?
  • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Sunday October 21, 2012 @10:00PM (#41725277)

    Ah, poperatzo, good to hear from you.

    How do you expect to have "secret voting" when Mitt Romney's son holds an equity interest in a company that makes voting machines (a company which has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Romney campaign).

    The vote is secret since there isn't personally identifiable information linked to the vote itself.

    Do you think that everyone at the company are both Romney only voters and are unethical? If not, how would they expect to keep quiet the sort of conspiracy you posit? Surely they would expect their behavior to be under scrutiny?

    Does their contract cover the whole state, and do they actually have the means to change the vote?

    We've outsourced our elections.

    Only the manufacture of voting machines, and do you really want the government in that business? The elections are supervised the same old way, and votes are still cast by voters.

    I have absolutely zero confidence in the integrity of US elections. and not because of "voter fraud".

    Voter fraud []? The very idea []! Rest assurred, it doesn't always work []. ;) (Just because I know you've listened.)

    Besides, don't worry, the the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and the ACLU have your back [], in yet another embarrassment to the United States.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie