Emerson Rensink | The Anti-Media
On Friday, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made its debut on Twitter. Amidst a barrage of fanfare welcoming the agency, a few Twitter accounts were less excited, including infamous whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. Thumbnail credit: WikiLeaks Facebook Page
After the new CIA account Tweeted: “Thank you for the @Twitter welcome! We look forward to sharing great #unclassified content with you,” WikiLeaks replied sarcastically: “@CIA We look forward to sharing great classified info about you.”
At the time of publication, the Tweet has over 2,000 Retweets and has been favorited more than 1,300 times. View the full conversation here.
WikiLeaks’s tongue-in-cheek threat is probably not empty, given the amount of information they’ve leaked about the CIA’s activities in the past. Included in the Tweet was a link to view all of WikiLeak’s past information on the CIA.
During “Cablegate” in 2010, WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables, some of which revealed criminal behavior by the CIA.
One in particular, addressed to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, exposed the CIA for capturing and torturing innocent German citizen Khalid El-Masri, then attempting to cover it up and prevent prosecution for the 13 agents responsible.
The irony can’t be lost that, although the CIA’s official presence on social media is new, the agency has been “following” people online clandestinely for a while.
Check out this Nov. 7, 2011 episode of NPR’s All Things Considered: “How Does the CIA Use Social Media?”
The segment touches on the millions of Facebook updates the CIA keeps tabs on overseas, but U.S. agencies openly track U.S. citizens through social media as well.
Perhaps the CIA’s official immersion into Twitter is a ploy to make following you easier.
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Emerson Rensink is an Olympia-trans*planted activist, organizer and citizen journalist. He helped organize the global March Against Monsanto in May 2013. In addition to writing for The Anti-Media, Emerson’s work can be found at Center for a Stateless Society. In his free time, Emerson likes to watch depressing documentaries and find funny, pointless things on the Internet.
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