Twitter Just Cut Off U.S. Intelligence Agencies From Accessing Data
Dataminr is a service that analyzes and mines Tweets to inform its clients about global events. The company also provided information to U.S. Intelligence until it was banned from doing so this week.
Dataminr's service searches for patterns across hundreds of millions of Tweets and also scans news wires and other sources. The service was said to have notified clients about the terrorist attacks in Brussels a full 10 minutes before traditional media outlets picked up the story. The service also provided alerts on ISIS attacks in Libya and the ongoing Brazilian political crisis.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) has now cut off U.S. intelligence agencies from accessing Dataminr's services. The company hasn't officially announced the decision, but the news has been confirmed by a senior U.S. intelligence official.
The Wall Street Journal added that Dataminr's executives previously told its clients in the intelligence business that Twitter doesn't want them to be on the receiving end of any reports. The publication added that Twitter was concerned about the "optics" of being too close with American intelligence services.
"If Twitter continues to sell this [data] to the private sector, but denies the government, that's hypocritical," said John C. Inglis, a former deputy director of the National Security Agency who left in 2014. "I think it's a bad sign of a lack of appropriate cooperation between a private-sector organization and the government."
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