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Twitter Stops Police Tool Used To Monitor Protesters


Twitter has cut off access for a tool that law enforcement was using to monitor the social network for protest-specific keywords. Those included “Mikebrown,” “Blacklivesmatter” and “imunarmed” according to documents obtained by The Daily Dot. Media Sonar has been selling social media surveillance software to police departments for thousands of dollars. Twitter, for its part, cut off the firm’s API keys in October and has vowed to terminate Media Sonar’s attempts at making more.

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With the list of keywords, the Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union’s evidence suggests that Media Sonar was selling itself as a way to monitor African Americans specifically. One column groups keywords together under a heading named “Mike Brown Related.” Mike Brown was the unarmed black teenager shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.

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