The tech giant Twitter has decided to ban the US intelligence agencies’ access to a plain mail service published on its agencies’, used in the fight against terrorism.

A talk about new example of the tensions between Silicon Valley companies and the federal government is on privacy, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Twitter Prohibits US intelligence To Use Analysis Service

The decision was not publicly announced, which was confirmed to the media by an intelligence official and other people also aware of the facts. The service, which alarms the political unrest, terrorist attacks, and other potentially important events in real-time, is not supplied directly by Twitter but by Dataminr.

Twitter said in a statement that its “data is largely public” specifying that the “US government may review public accounts on its own as any user could”.

A US private company that extracts important information from their Twitter feed for customers, including intelligence agencies, and Dataminr is the only company authorized by the Twitter (which owns 5%) to have access to the set of all the messages posted on the social network.

However, US intelligence has a venture capital arm called In-Q-Tel (yep) that has reportedly invested in Dataminr and other social media analytics firms.

Twitter quite rightly declining to serve as extension of US spy agencies.

— Jameel Jaffer (@JameelJaffer) May 9, 2016

For example, Dataminr broke the news to the US intelligence agencies about the terrorist attacks in Paris, in November, soon after their start.

In March, the company would communicate to its customers the news of the attacks in Brussels 10 minutes before its dissemination in the media. As John C. Inglis said, “If Twitter continues to sell its data to private, but denies them, the government is hypocritical”.

John C. Inglis, a former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency, also added, “I think it’s a bad sign of a lack of appropriate cooperation between private sector organizations and the government”.

However, US spy agencies reportedly aren’t pleased with the decision, as they have increasingly relied on social media analysis to root out terrorists.


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