ShadowDragon is a social media surveillance tool used by companies and law enforcement


I think we can all agree that technology and the internet have come a long way in a short time. Anything and everything is at our fingertips in a matter of seconds. Information, services, and social connections are within reach at the click of a button. While most of us are going about our mundane lives on the internet, some use it for nefarious purposes, and law enforcement utilizes ShadowDragon to surveil the internet.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The Intercept recently reported on ShadowDragon, and we’d encourage you to head there to read a very detailed and comprehensive article filled with as much information as they could get. According to The Intercept, ShadowDragon is used by law enforcement and corporations to watch user’s website and social media activities.

The software pulls data from social media accounts, data apps, the dark web, and even Amazon to identify “persons of interest.” ShadowDragon searches 120 different online platforms, which the company says allows it to “speed up profiling work from months to minutes.” ShadowDragon also claims that its software can predict “unrest and potential violence.”

The inner workings of the product are generally not known to the public. The contract, and materials published by the companies online, allow a deeper explanation of how this surveillance works, provided below.

ShadowDragon has kept a low profile but has law enforcement customers well beyond Michigan. It was purchased twice by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in the last two years, documents show and was reportedly acquired by the Massachusetts State Police and other police departments within the state.

This new revelation about the Michigan contract raises questions about what digital surveillance capabilities other police departments and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. might be quietly acquiring. And it comes at a time when previously known government social media surveillance is under fire from civil rights and liberties advocates like MediaJustice and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Kaseware and ShadowDragon are part of a shadowy industry of software firms that exploit what they call “open source intelligence,” or OSINT: the trails of information that people leave on the internet. Clients include intelligence agencies, government, police, corporations, and even schools.

The Intercept

The Intercept’s report dives deep into ShadowDragon, and other tools companies and local/federal agencies use to keep eyes on everyone using the internet. It’s worth taking a few minutes to read and take your time to ingest all of it into your head. The gist of it is, we have no privacy online.

What do you think of ShadowDragon? Please share your thoughts on any of the social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.


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