Feds Saving All Tweets Forever On Massive Database
Watch what you Tweet, because the government will be able to retrieve it for years– or decades– to come, according to a new report.
That’s the lesson you can take from the Library of Congress’ mandate to collect anything that may have long-term historical interest, says Federal News Radio.
Most digital data has at least a theoretical expiration under law, such as ISP browsing history. But tweets, it seems, will live forever.
Bill Lefurgy, digital initiatives program manager at the Library of Congress national digital information infrastructure and preservation program, made the government’s policy on tweet collection pretty clear:
“We have an agreement with Twitter where they have a bunch of servers with their historic archive of tweets, everything that was sent out and declared to be public.”
So protected (private) tweets are apparently not collected, but those placed in the public domain — billions and billions of tweets — will be stored in huge capacity servers.
It’s already established government policy that the National Archives must preserve Tweets, emails and other electronic communications as ”government documents.” Given that intra-governmental communication is increasingly dominated by digital dissemination, this makes sense.
But the National Archives handles official government materials, whereas the Library of Congress has a much broader mission– which now apparently covers anything anyone chooses to tweet out to the world.
“We’re basically in the same situation as the National Archives, only on a much larger scale,” Lefurgy said . “We tend to have a much larger perspective in terms of what we collect.”
Plans are already in place to use the massive vaults of Tweets for “Data mining” purposes– whatever that means.
- ‘Bigoted, Religious [Zealots]‘: High School Senior Allegedly Expelled, Charged With Felonies Over Gay Relationship With ‘Consenting’ Fellow Student 1,036 Comments
- ‘The Daily Show’ Creator Makes Outrageously Offensive Anti-Conservative Joke About Okla. Tornado 462 Comments
- Washington Times Writer: Fox News Scandal Goes ‘Much Deeper,’ W.H. Sitting on Something Top Obama Aides ‘Terrified’ About 436 Comments
- University Will Investigate Christian Professor’s Intelligent Design Class Following Atheist Furor 312 Comments
- See the First Behind-the-Scenes Photos as Beck and Mercury One Survey the Damage in Okla. 252 Comments
- ‘Death! You F**k!’: Bat Mitzvah Chaperone Unleashes Explosive, Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Kids Over Candy-Throwing Incident Read More
- How Can God Let Tragedies Like the Okla. Tornado Exist? Pastors Weigh In 147 Comments
- Is This Video of Pope Francis Performing an Exorcism? Read More
- Boston Cardinal Snubs Irish PM Over Abortion Support Read More
- Incredible: The Moment a Woman’s Dog Emerges from Rubble During TV Interview Right After She Describes Losing Him 224 Comments
- China Sets off What Could Be the World’s Longest Demolition Read More
- Here are the 5 Most Interesting Moments from Tuesday’s Hearing on the IRS Scandal 106 Comments
- Jay Carney Shifts IRS Timeline (Again!) Read More
- Top IRS Official at Center of Political Targeting Scandal Will Plead the Fifth 132 Comments
- Disgraced IRS Interim Chief Now Fully Admits Knowledge of Planted Question (but Did It Reveal a Past Half-Truth?) Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ Read More
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Maine man charged in death of missing teen
- Weak yen a help for Japan, but headache elsewhere
- Portland, Ore., rejecting water fluoridation
- Conn. rail service returning to normal
- Hosseini discusses new novel at NYC reading
- Young objector challenges Israeli army
- Egypt: 7 security men kidnapped in Sinai freed
- Garcetti holds slim lead as LA picks new mayor