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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Just how is the U.S. Justice Department and other federal agencies using social media sites as part of investigations, surveillance and data collection?

The results may surprise you.

The Electronic Freedom Foundation has set up a

It also published an that were obtained from a number of agencies about their social media usage after the EFF and the UC Berkley Samuelson Clinic filed suit against them last December in a Freedom of Information Act case.

One document is a 35-page presentation from the Justice Department titled “Obtaining and Using Evidence from Social Networking Sites.”

“The slides, which were prepared by two lawyers from the agency’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, detail several social media companies’ data retention practices and responses to law enforcement requests,” the EFF noted.

“The presentation notes that Facebook was ‘often cooperative with emergency requests’ while complaining about Twitter’s short data retention policies and refusal to preserve data without legal process,” the foundation added. “The presentation also touches on use of social media for undercover operations.”