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Twitter Data

Twitter allegedly instructs Dataminr to cease collaboration with US intelligence agencies


By John Glenday, Reporter

May 9, 2016 | 2 min read

Twitter has allegedly moved to distance itself from US intelligence gathering by instructing an analytics company with which it shares data to cease collaboration with the CIA and others – although it will maintain a $255k breaking news contract with the Department of Homeland Security.

Reports in the Wall Street Journal suggest that Dataminr, which trawls through millions of daily tweets to form news alerts for subscribers, has been instructed to cut off the government bodies from its services – ending two years of collaboration.

Twitter hasn’t commented directly on the matter but a senior US intelligence official told the WSJ said that direct contact had now been shut down, implying that Twitter was keen to keep itself at arm’s length from the intelligence community in the wake of Apple’s high profile dispute with the FBI over providing access to an iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino gunman .

In a statement the micro-blogging service reiterated that its ‘data is largely public," adding that the "US government may review public accounts on its own, like any user could."

Twitter owns a five per cent stake in Dataminr, which is the only company with real-time access to tweets, enabling it to stay several minutes ahead of the mainstream media in issuing alerts about major events.

Dataminr has been credited with issuing an alert about the Paris terror attacks moments before they began and fired off an alert about the Brussels bombing 10 minutes before other news services.

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