The Weakest Link

I recently ran across a memorandum by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) that states: “Narcissistic tendencies in many people fuels a need to have a large group of ‘friends’ link to their pages and many of these people accept cyber-friends that they don’t even know. This provides an excellent vantage point for the Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) to observe the daily life of beneficiaries and petitioners who are suspected of fraudulent activities.”

The whole document may be found here: for your perusal.

Obviously, the federal government encourages federal agents to monitor U.S. citizenship applicants’ social networking activity for proof of fraud. The memorandum suggests that tracking applicants’ presence on social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace, among other sites listed in the memorandum, could provide “an excellent vantage point” to observe the daily activities of those suspected of fraudulent activities.

I’ve been banging this drum for years and I hope the government was on top of this fertile ground for quite some time and not just within the past year. I’ll not be placing bets on that one folks! Check out these previous entries concerning social media.

  1. Juris Doctor 117 of 161:
  2. Social Confessions:
  3. Spin cycle:
  4. Changes are Coming: Electronically Stored Information:
  5. Social Networks and Social Engineering:
  6. Loose Lips, Sink Ships:

The interesting thing about social networks are that people love to disclose. I personally have no trouble with the government or an employer browsing the channels in an effort to learn more about a person. As an employer, I want to hire intelligent people, not immature, blathering village idiots. Just the same, as the government, I would want to keep an eye on threats out there. If it is publicly available, it should be fair game.

Bottom line is if you want to keep a secret, don’t tell anyone. I’ve never met anyone who could keep a secret completely. People just love to share and I will encourage them to continue doing so when it serves my purpose. The weakest link in my caper is the other person.