The PRISM scandal engulfing US and UK intelligence agencies has blown the debate wide open over what privacy means in the digital age and whether the Internet risks becoming a kind of Stasi 2.0. The extent of the UK's involvement in this type of mass surveillance—which already appears exhaustive—shows just what a potential intelligence goldmine social media data can be.
But the monitoring of our online trail goes beyond the eavesdroppers in GCHQ. For the past two years, a secretive unit in the Metropolitan Police has been developing the tools for blanket surveillance of the public's social media conversations. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a staff of 17 officers in the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) has been scanning the public's tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, and anything else UK citizens post in the public online sphere.
The intelligence-gathering technique—sometimes known as Social Media Intelligence (Socmint)—has been used in conjunction with an alarming array of sophisticated analytical tools . . .
UK Leads the Way on Social Media Surveillance and Spying
From Ars Technica: