Angry Over U.S. Surveillance, Tech Giants Bolster Defenses
The New York Times reports that reports that the tech giants are taking a series of anti-NSA counter-measures. Specifically:
“Google has spent months and millions of dollars encrypting email, search queries and other information flowing among its data centers worldwide. Facebook’s chief executive said at a conference this fall that the government ‘blew it.’ And though it has not been announced publicly, Twitter plans to set up new types of encryption to protect messages from snoops.”
Most interestingly, during our investigation, Republican nominee for US President Mitt Romney has been scrutinized recently for his abnormal increase in new followers (@mittromney), indicating that these followers had been purchased in the same way as the Dealers/Abuser scenario from our study. We do note that these followers could have been purchased by either himself, his associates or by his opponents. Particularly, on July 21st, 2012, his follower number went from 673,002 to 789,924, representing a gain of 116,922 or 17%. As this story picked up momentum, we quickly pulled his newest followers since the big breakout, (resulting in 152,966 new Twitter accounts), and can disclose several interesting statistics of these followers.
Statistics of Romney’s newest 152,966 Twitter followers(between Jul 21st and Jul 26th 2012):
- The number of Romney’s followers increased 17% (or 116,922) on a single day Jul 21, 2012, going from 673,002 to 789,924.
- 25% of these followers are less than 3 weeks old (created after July 17th 2012), 80% of them are less than 3 months old
- 23% or about 1/4 of these followers have no tweet
- 10% of these account has already been suspended by Twitter