© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

@CIA Tweets; Internet Explodes In Not-So-Covert Sarcasm

The CIA has probably been on Twitter before, but this was the agency's first tweet (or the first it has publicly acknowledged):

Much of the response to the clever tweet from the covert agency was, as you might expect, dripping with overt sarcasm. Here's a selection:

The CIA has closely monitored social media worldwide as part of its intelligence gathering. As NPR reported in 2011, a group within the agency monitors public Facebook updates and tweets from people overseas, up to 5 million a day.

Kimberly Dozier, a reporter for The Associated Press, told us at the time those activities have led to some successes. She said:

"Well, they have predicted things like — believe it or not — the fallout from the revolt in Egypt, the Arab Spring. I sat down with the director of the center, Doug Naquin, who said that after the Twitter revolution of 2009 in Iran, they had predicted that if something like that took hold in the Middle East — in a country like Egypt — social media could be a game changer. They just couldn't predict when the revolt would happen, and how quickly the fallout would come."

Other covert agencies, including the National Security Agency, are already on Twitter. The NSA, in fact, showed its encryption chops last month when, as NPR's Scott Neuman reported, it sent out the following tweet:

Translation: Want to know what it takes to work at NSA? Check back each Monday as we explore careers essential to protecting your nation.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Up North Updates
* indicates required