Keeping an eye on social media to fight terrorism - - Columbia, South Carolina

Keeping an eye on social media to fight terrorism

COLUMBIA, SC (NBC)- Federal authorities want to start keeping an eye on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter as part of their fight against terrorism.

According to a report in the New York Times, that could lead to a change in wire tap laws.

For years it's been okay for law enforcement to wiretap suspected criminals and terrorists through land line phones, cell phones, email and even chat rooms.

But apparently the law had to stop at encrypted messages from Blackberry's, or peer-to-peer networking sites like Facebook or Skype.

Students offer conflicting views on the proposed legislation.

"They should definitely be able to look at Facebook or Skype or whatever because you want to catch the bad guy in the end," Amanda Alayan said.

Josh Moran disagreed.  "It's your own personal business. if they find you doing something incriminating on their time, they can see you do, yes, but they don't need to go into my blackberry to know if I'm doing something wrong," said Moran.

According to the New York Times, the Obama administration is trying to strike a balance between national security needs and protecting privacy.

Any proposed changes to wiretap laws will bring out criticism and privacy concerns.

"Yes, it's gonna be harder to find out things but that's because technology, that doesn't mean they have to find ways to look into our technology to see what they're doing," Moran continued.   "They need to find another means to find out if we're doing something wrong or not."

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