It appears our government intelligence agencies are still a bit confused about this whole internet thing. A few months ago, we noted that the FBI lost a lawsuit after a judge was shocked that FBI agents didn't do a simple Google search in trying to figure out if someone was still alive. Then, last week, we noted that our intelligence agencies were starting to make use of the tools of social applications, but not necessarily the community of people out there. However, when the CIA turned down a State Department request for names of Iranians who deserve to be sanctioned for their work on Iran's nuclear program, the State Department set up a junior employee to go about Googling things like "Iran and nuclear" to come up with a list. After some cutting down the list, the CIA eventually approved a small list of people, but it still seems bizarre to think that the best way to determine dangerous people is to do a simple Google search. That isn't to say that the intelligence community shouldn't be using tools like Google. Obviously, they should be using them quite a lot -- but that doesn't mean it's right for everything: such as figuring out the best list of people to sanction over a clandestine nuclear weapons program.
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