The former director of the CIA and NSA ended up in the news recently after his “off the record interview” was overheard by a fellow train passenger. Who tweeted about it:
Former NSA spy boss Michael Hayden on Acela behind me blabbing "on background as a former senior admin official" Sounds defensive.
— Tom Matzzie (@tommatzzie) October 24, 2013
I’ve read some reactions to this story that paint is as a “scary” indictment of the intelligence service wiretapping of social media (essentially, someone in some potentially shadowy bunker noticed Matzzie’s tweets and notified Hayden while the incident was occurring) but, like, let’s be real here. Government departments have social media teams too–yes, even scary spy-type agencies–and Twitter is a public platform. There are like ten million ways of getting real time alerts about pertinent keywords on Twitter that don’t involve wiretapping backbones or shady backdoor deals. Hell, you probably use some of them yourself. So does the government. Go figure.