John McCain targets Twitter, other social media data

Following a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Armed Services over encryption and cybersecurity on Tuesday, Arizona Senator John McCain sought to train Twitter in his crosshairs.

After questioning Admiral Michael Rogers over the need to maintain the current arrangement of his dual role as CYBERCOM Commander and Director of National Security Agency (NSA), an organization the NSA director agreed with, Mr. McCain moved to inquire about the need to establish policy to achieve cooperation from the private sector in obtaining data from social media.

In the absence of  a policy, McCain vowed the Congress would act.

McCain announced the technology firm Dataminr had cooperated with the U.S. government, but technology firms Twitter and Apple had prevented the company from cooperating further with NSA by not allowing Dataminr to release real-time tweets over privacy concerns.

Mr. McCain vowed to “go after them.”

“Shame on them,” McCain concluded in his opening remarks and cross examination.

According to the latest poll by NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist, Arizona’s five-term senator leads his Democratic rival, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick by 19 points among likely general election voters.

Watch McCain’s remarks from Tuesday below:


[emptywheel] [Samuel Ezerzer/YouTube] [Photo courtesy Joey Foley/FilmMagic via Rolling Stone]