The NSA and the CIA are going to have to scroll through their own Twitter feeds from now on. U.S. intelligence agencies will reportedly be banned from using Dataminr, a service that uses an algorithm to sort through the social media platform’s entire output.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Twitter plans to cut off access to Dataminr for U.S. intelligence agencies, although the move has not yet been made public. Government agencies had been using the service, which is owned in part by Twitter, to patrol social media posts for possible terrorist plots. However, Twitter is wary of appearing to be too intimately connected to the intelligence community as the relationship between the government and Silicon Valley grows more and more complicated.
A senior U.S. intelligence official was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying he thought Twitter appeared concerned about the “optics” of a too-cozy relationship between Twitter and the government. In a statement, Twitter said its “data is largely public, and the U.S. government may review public accounts on its own, like any user could.” However, Dataminr is currently the only company Twitter allows to access its entire output in real time — every single tweet — and package that information to sell to clients.