Let’s all welcome the CIA to Twitter

posted at 8:31 am on June 7, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

An interesting blip popped up on the social media radar this week, when the Central Intelligence Agency took the plunge and joined Twitter. (@CIA). There was no huge fanfare or media uproar beyond a few “news lite” pieces, but the Twitterverse certainly noticed. In a matter of hours the account had passed a quarter million followers. Of course, I’m not sure how much entertainment we can expect from Spook Central, given that they have thus far managed only two tweets.

There were plenty of jokes going around as soon as they broke virtual radio silence, as well as perhaps only partially serious jibes about having the spies among us. (Including mine.)

Concerns about the CIA suddenly “finding” Twitter and listening in on us are clearly unwarranted. (And for what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure that the agency has had files on every writer at Hot Air for at least the last 66 months.) While they don’t announce such things, I’m sure that intelligence agencies have been gathering information and monitoring Twitter (as well as Facebook, Pinterest and all the rest) pretty much since they went online. I imagine that if you wanted to do it, you’d set up a number of relatively anonymous accounts from generic e-mail addresses and not even bother following people of interest. Twitter allows you to set up searches for key words, so you’d just begin monitoring for every instance of potentially threatening phrases and checking them out.

So why join the social media herd now? Well, the CIA had an explanation for that.

“By expanding to these platforms, CIA will be able to more directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA’s mission, history, and other developments,” said CIA Director John Brennan in a statement. “We have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the Agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”

So much for that. The only serious question I have regarding this story is how did they manage to get that handle? Surely somebody would have taken it by now, if only the Culinary Institute of America. Did they have to kick somebody off?

Anyway, here are some other agencies who are already on Twitter that you might not have known about.

The DEA
The FBI
The Department of Homeland Security
DARPA
The Defense Intelligence Agency

You may as well keep an eye on them. You know they’re keeping an eye on you.


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So much for that. The only serious question I have regarding this story is how did they manage to get that handle? Surely somebody would have taken it by now, if only the Culinary Institute of America. Did they have to kick somebody off?

Going back through Wayback Machine, the Cleveland Institute of Art had it in 2008/2009, and then somebody called Molly Hale using an east Asia character set had it earlier this year.

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Well, as long as our government is taking themselves seriously…

myrenovations on June 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Well, as long as our government is taking themselves seriously…

myrenovations on June 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM

We can call them Shirley.

Steve Eggleston on June 7, 2014 at 8:42 AM

…(And for what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure that the agency has had files on every writer at Hot Air for at least the last 66 months.)

Right. You inflate your importance.

rlwo2008 on June 7, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Did they have to kick somebody off?

They’re the CIA. Thats what they do.

BobMbx on June 7, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Twitter allows you to set up searches for key words, so you’d just begin monitoring for every instance of potentially threatening phrases and checking them out.

Phrases such as “Tea Party”, “patriot”, “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” and so on – just use the list of “flags” that the IRS uses in deciding whom to harass.

David Blue on June 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM

Wait til God starts on Twitter

faraway on June 7, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Personally, I’m still waiting for the CIA to start sending out selfies and Instagram vine videos….

jon1979 on June 7, 2014 at 9:12 AM

As if they weren’t already there … and also there … and over there, and there, and there, and in here, . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on June 7, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Still not joining twitter. Or facebook for that matter.

rbj on June 7, 2014 at 9:20 AM

oAEhj gfzeh ucgcv hudfu ibcho dhxcx hushb xcjfi lcbdl bhjou hgbnj paiet pbjnn jiovh uvgur GKUIa GHIDE TRJLG soUIB PIFSI BZOGO VSOFU IOPDF

Sorry, just couldn’t resist. And yes, I am betraying my age here.

cheers

eon

eon on June 7, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Phrases such as “Tea Party”, “patriot”, “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” and so on – just use the list of “flags” that the IRS uses in deciding whom to harass.

David Blue on June 7, 2014 at 9:07 AM

So, last night a number of us patriots, carrying our firearms and copies of the U.S. Constitution, exercised our rights, according to the Bill of Rights, by having a Tea Party meeting which began with the Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.

VALman on June 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Just hope the CIA is keeping close tabs on the recently released Taliban 5 as they are on American citizens.

Herb on June 7, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Somebody had the best reply yesterday. Something like:

We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.

— CIA (@CIA) June 6, 2014

It is your first tweet, you’re welcome
-Nsa @NSA

That just cracks me up.

cozmo on June 7, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Yet another thing that makes the CIA a complete joke. We haven’t had a real intelligence service in the US since the early 1970s.

WhatSlushfund on June 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM

We have important insights to share

Yeah, hell, since the President won’t listen to them, maybe the CIA hopes that we will.

ss396 on June 7, 2014 at 10:07 AM

CIA now on Twitter:

The Associated Press @AP · 22s

RT @AP_Politics: Launching Twitter feed, CIA says it can neither confirm nor deny its first tweet. http://apne.ws/1nXHsPE
========================================================

CIAVerified account
@CIA

We are the Nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go.
Langley, VA
cia.gov

https://twitter.com/CIA

canopfor on June 6, 2014 at 6:13 PM

canopfor on June 7, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Truly pukeworthy.

The CIA is as embarrassing as Brian Williams in full whore mode for Obama yesterday.

Brian Williams started pleasuring Obama by doing an Angria Mitchell then donned the spiked leather and Eleanor Clifted him.

viking01 on June 7, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The only serious question I have regarding this story is how did they manage to get that handle?

Obviously they’ve had @cia since day one of Twitter…

Akzed on June 7, 2014 at 10:49 AM

Dear CIA:

Welcome! And, f*** you.

Sincerely,
An admirer

orangemtl on June 7, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Whew! Thought this monumental moment in social media bandwagon derp-ery might sail past HotGas unannounced.

Jedditelol on June 7, 2014 at 10:53 AM

The only serious question I have regarding this story is how did they manage to get that handle?

Obviously they’ve had @cia since day one of Twitter…

Akzed on June 7, 2014 at 10:49 AM

ROTFLMAO… No kidding, who exactly do people think REALLY invented Twitter…

oscarwilde on June 7, 2014 at 10:55 AM

We are the Nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go.
Langley, VA
cia.gov

Y’mean, like mass eavesdropping on citizens, and intrusion into their private EMails, phone calls and personal data? Yes, we know. Heck of an accomplishment, spooks: your Moms must be SO proud.

Thanks for being Holy Mother Government’s first line of defense against the public. I’m wiping a tear of joy from my eye, as I’m typing.

orangemtl on June 7, 2014 at 10:56 AM

I wonder if Maxwell Smart can get Twitter on his shoe phone.

NOMOBO on June 7, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Y’mean, like mass eavesdropping on citizens, and intrusion into their private EMails, phone calls and personal data? Yes, we know. Heck of an accomplishment, spooks: your Moms must be SO proud.

Thanks for being Holy Mother Government’s first line of defense against the public. I’m wiping a tear of joy from my eye, as I’m typing.

orangemtl on June 7, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Wow, just one more IQ point and your IQ would be above that of the average daytime temp in Siberia in the winter. You do know that the CIA and the NSA are actually two entirely different, separate and competing agencies, right?

oscarwilde on June 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

So, am I going to be FORCED to learn to use Twitter?

oldleprechaun on June 7, 2014 at 11:06 AM

SPAIZ!

trigon on June 7, 2014 at 11:28 AM

The NSA and FBI have been monitoring Twitter for years.
The CIA, it’s supposed to keep it’s sphere of influence in FOREIGN countries, no?

ObamaLand: no rules, just right!

Tard on June 7, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Great. First the NSA can’t figure out sarcasm, now we have the CIA trying to be serious.

The one thing Snowden was right about… you $hit is already P3wned.

HopeHeFails on June 7, 2014 at 11:31 AM

“By expanding to these platforms, CIA will be able to more directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA’s mission, history, and other developments,” said CIA Director John Brennan in a statement. “We have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the Agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”

…GREAT!…now they can “accidentally”…”OUT” more people!

KOOLAID2 on June 7, 2014 at 11:39 AM

“By expanding ██████████████, CIA will be able to more directly engage with ██████████████ and provide information on CIA’s mission, history, and ████████████████ PROPAGANDA

“We have important insights PROPAGANDA to share, and we want to make sure that ██████████████ information about ████████████ is more accessible to the American public that we ██████████, consistent with our ████████████████ mission.”

FIFY

dominigan on June 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Since Twitter, Facebook and Google are thoroughly infiltrated, why pretend any more?

virgo on June 8, 2014 at 11:10 AM