The Nexus of Forces in Action – Use-Case 12: Information Control
Governments want to prevent unwanted rumor or fake-threat spread that can cause security issues. Some are switching off cell towers or putting a cap on SMS messaging to control this. They would want to have similar control on the social channels. Filtering and dealing with junk, abuse, and trolls on social channels.
Primary Industry Sectors
Government, cyber security defense
Public security, crowd-sourcing
Key Business Functions
Security risk assessment, social media trends and event analysis, government policy controls on network and Internet service provider usage and responsibilities, crowd-sourcing events and response
Government security service, ISP, NSP
Government policy, social network provider
Real-time data analysis, citizen, crowd, corporate activity and behavior analytics, mobile device (cellphone or tablet), social networks, utility supply management
Real-time data analysis, big data, mobility, IoT
In addition to their good effects, social communications can also result in trolling, abuse, stalking, and junk. There have been incidents where celebrities, sport stars, and other prominent personalities have suffered. The abusers are often anonymous and hard to identify. See Chris Syme’s article: Dealing with Social Media Trolls and Haters: Let your Fans do the Talking.
Anti-social elements and terrorists that want to cause disruption are using social channels to spread the news and hatred. They exemplify the situation and spread bad or cooked-up news to increase tensions in the communities. In sensitive societies where there is cultural or religious hatred, the spread of bad news causes clashes between the groups who want to take advantage of the situation. Local governments want to prevent and control the spread of rumors. Government wants to put checks and balances on the social media to prevent news that can take a situation out of control. Currently some governments are putting limits on the number of SMS messages exchanged when there are such situations, but they do not have much control on the rumors spread through social media.
A combination of technologies could have solutions to these issues:
- This could involve tools to analyze social data and information analysis on-the-fly. Data filtering and tools to filter data being published will help.
- Results of analysis can send alerts to the protection services as advance warnings. It is possible to apply the IoT to identify the cops or media around the location of the incident and alert them as the crime is in progress.
- Results of analysis can trigger further analysis of CCTV information and alerting of the residents and businesses in the affected areas using mobile channels.
- There could be many other possibilities as technologies evolve.
Current Observations Data
Criminal activity events, alerts
Past incident history
Intelligent algorithms on conditions of message and message threat level
Action Taken Data
Recordings of actions taken
Real Business Examples
“Egypt cuts off Internet access: most of the major Internet service providers in Egypt are offline following week-long protests.” (Source: Charles Arthur’s article in the Guardian.)
NSA spying “likely unconstitutional” and “Orwellian”, judge rules. (See the NSA Spying article in the Telegraph.)
“Federal government routinely hires Internet trolls, shills to monitor chat rooms, disrupt article comment sections.” (See Jonathan Benson’s article in Natural News.)
Existing Interoperability Standards
Social network APIs (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr – vendor standards)
Comments on Context
Ethical and constitutional risks of data misuse, civil rights.
- Policies on collection of citizen data.
- Resolution of issues on collection of large-scale mobile data. See, e.g., the Financial Times editorial: Striking Reverse for the NSA, the PC Pro article: ISPs will reject government demands for default-on parental control filters, the BBC item: Leaked letter shows ISPs and government at war, and the Computer Weekly article: ISPs set to oppose US regulator’s attempts to impose greater controls.