The CIA Finally Joins Twitter, After Years of Mining it for Intel


The Central Intelligence Agency—which only recently kicked its nasty habit of torturing detainees for little or no actionable intelligence and overthrowing democratically elected foreign governments—is now officially on Twitter. The agency’s account is verified. On Friday, @CIA sent its first tweet, which reads as follows (warningdorky spy humor ahead):

“Just remember: This is a messaging arm of a spy agency, not a silly channel for CIA Internet jokes,” PolicyMic‘s Jared Keller wrote on Friday.

The CIA finally joined the Twitterverse after years of mining it for intel. Analysts at the agency’s Open Source Center (who other agents jokingly refer to as “vengeful librarians“) sift through millions of tweets, Facebook posts, and other public data to get a sense of the collective attitudes of groups and regions overseas. The “librarians” track up to five million tweets a day. “Yes, they saw the uprising in Egypt coming; they just didn’t know exactly when revolution might hit, said the center’s director, Doug Naquin,” according to an Associated Press exclusive report in November 2011.

Nowadays, the State Department is actively trolling terrorists on Twitter. Let’s see if the CIA can top that.

UPDATE, July 7, 2014, 5:14 p.m. ET:

smdh.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate