Twitter has blocked US spies from buying bulk data on its users from a data analytics company.
Until now, US national security agencies, including the FBI and CIA, had been able to query treasure troves of Twitter data through software from Dataminr, the New York-based analytics company in which Twitter owns a 5% stake. Agents could enter search terms such as “Isis” or “jihad” and view more tweets, over a longer period, than what a standard Twitter search would offer, people familiar with the process said.
Apparently not wanting to seem too close to US spies, Twitter has blocked any future such sales, the company confirmed on Monday. Twitter maintains the power to veto Dataminr’s contracts with its customers, typically news organizations and financial analysts.