Social Networks Facilitate Surveillance, Terrorism

The old balance between liberty and security is being played out online. The availability of social network data facilitates state and corporate monitoring as well as more nefarious communication.

What's the Latest Development?


Facebook's new Timeline feature, which encourages you to fill in the gaps between the time you were born and the time you started sharing your life on Facebook, will surely be used by advertisers to learn more about your personal life. Government access to data also worries privacy advocates like Eben Moglen who says: "We are creating systems of comprehensive surveillance in which a billion people are involved and those people’s lives are being lived under a kind of scrutiny which no secret police service is the 20th century could ever have aspired to achieve."

What's the Big Idea?

Using today's easily accessible and powerful communication tools, those with more nefarious intentions are also able to achieve their ends with convenience. For the last ten years, Prof. Gabriel Weimann of the University of Haifa has conducted a study of public sites used by terrorist organization. This is one post he recently found: "I have a kilogram of acetone. I want to know how to make an explosive with it to blow up a military jeep." A response promptly came on how to build a bomb using the liquid explosive.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

Getty Images/Suvendu Giri
Surprising Science
  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.