CiviliNation’s Picks ~ January 31, 2012

What you say online stands a good chance of being monitored. In its early stages, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Social Networking/Media Capability program used Facebook, Twitter, blogs and reader comment to monitor, among other things, “public reaction to major governmental proposals with homeland security implications.” Federal Contractor Monitored Social Network Sites

A chilling story about the FBI’s “sextortion” case involving the search for a webcam hacker who “was fiendishly effective [and] had gained remote access to his victims’ computers, allowing him to monitor their activity online and to search their hard drives.” The Hacker is Watching

Of interest to Americans may be the mining of political views expressed on Facebook. The news site Politico has entered into an agreement with Facebook to measure the political sentiment towards U.S. presidential candidates. “Every post and comment — both public and private — by a U.S. user that mentions a presidential candidate’s name will be fed through a sentiment analysis tool that spits out anonymized measures of the general U.S. Facebook population.” Facebook Gives Politico Deep Access to Users’ Political Sentiments

Protecting the identity of “risk-taking sources” such as whistleblowers online is an ongoing challenge for sites such as 100 Reporters and Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit (AJTU) and The Wall Street Journal’s SafeHouse, says the Columbia Journalism Review. Tell Me a Secret: Soliciting leaks has its rewards, and challenges

A Reuters News poll found that 1 in 10 ten parents online (12%) around the world say their child has been cyberbullied and 1 in 4 (24%) said they know a child in the community whom that had happened to as well. Social networking sites are the top sources for cyberbullying, according to the countries surveyed. Three Quarters (77%) of World Citizens Say Cyberbullying Needs Special Attention and Cannot Be Addressed Through Existing Anti-Bullying Measures