Jacobin: Not Even Fortnite and Parenting Websites Are Safe From Surveillance
September 19, 2023
According to internal emails obtained by the activist group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), ShadowDragon’s clients include investigative elements of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which recently switched to ShadowDragon after dropping another provider.
“Companies like Shadow Dragon collect an extraordinary amount of information from social media and other websites about the activities of internet users,” said Jeramie D. Scott, senior counsel and director of EPIC’s Project on Surveillance Oversight, in an email. “This type of mass surveillance, which is available to the government and other entities, creates a chilling effect on online activities.”
Added Scott, “Our interactions, associations, words, habits, locations — in essence our entire digital lives — are being collected for scrutiny now and indefinitely into the future through expanding analytical tools of black box algorithms. The abuse of such tools is not an ‘if’ but a ‘when.’”
Scott from EPIC added, “ICE should be very transparent about its use of surveillance tools like SocialNet and very specific about how the surveillance tools are used and how many people are implicated.”
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