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NSA Collecting Millions of Contact Lists: Report (The Huffington Post/AP)
The National Security Agency has been sifting through millions of contact lists from personal email and instant messaging accounts around the world — including those of Americans — in its effort to find possible links to terrorism or other criminal activity, according to a published report. The Washington Post reported that the spy agency intercepts hundreds of thousands of email address books every day from private accounts on Yahoo, Gmail, Facebook and Hotmail that move through global data links. ReadWrite The Post, which obtained the information from the seemingly endless treasure trove of data leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, outlined the NSA practice of collecting the contact lists in order to establish connections and relationships of the targets of their investigations. While the program, which is separate from the collection of phone records to obtain similar connections, does not target Americans specifically, the Post‘s sources confirmed that U.S. citizens are getting swept in the collection process. USA Today “You need the haystack to find the needle,” the Post quotes Gen. Keith B. Alexander, NSA director, as saying in defense of the bulk collection. No one from public affairs was available to discuss the allegations at National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., Monday evening. The Christian Science Monitor Although controversial, bulk collection of Americans’ telephone metadata has so far been deemed legal under the Patriot Act by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Also, online records collected from U.S. Internet companies under an NSA program known as PRISM have been justified under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The New York Times Assurances that Americans need not worry about their contact lists being sucked up into the NSA computers because officials would never think of abusing that vast database to violate our rights are about as believable as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, telling a Senate committee last March that the intelligence agencies were “not wittingly” collecting vast amounts of data on Americans’ phone calls and Internet communications. Clapper said later that it was the “least untruthful thing” he could have said, but formally apologized to the Senate because his statement was just flatly false.
Twitter IPO Update: It’ll be TWTR on the NYSE (VentureBeat)
Twitter updated its S-1 prospectus Tuesday and told the world it will be listing on the New York Stock Exchange, not the NASDAQ. In addition, the company confirmed that it would list under the symbol TWTR.
[Infographic] A Timeline to Help Marketers Capitalize on Holiday Panic (SocialTimes)
The folks at Offerpop, a social media marketing platform, have put together a helpful infographic for marketers to capitalize on “holiday panic.” According to the infographic, just over 40 percent of shoppers get started with holiday purchases before November.
Apple Officially Sets its Oct. 22 iPad Event (CNET)
Apple’s “very busy” fall season of product launches is in full swing. The company just sent out invites for a news event next week, where new iPads and Macs are expected.
Facebook Testing Ad Billing When Threshold is Reached, or at End of Calendar Month (AllFacebook)
Facebook confirmed to sister blog Inside Facebook that it is testing changes to billing for its advertisers, billing them either when they reach their billing thresholds or on the last day of each month, whichever comes first. SEO Braintrust vice president of awesomeness Andrea Warner called it a “welcome change,” and Facebook confirmed to Inside Facebook that it was testing these ad billing changes with “a few select advertisers.”
Pinterest Drives More Traffic to Publishers Than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit Combined (Mashable)
When it comes to referral traffic from social networks, there’s Facebook and Pinterest — and then there’s everyone else. Facebook accounted for more than 10 percent of overall traffic to publishers in September, by far the most of any social network, according to data released Tuesday from Shareaholic, a social plugin service that collects data from 200,000 publishers reaching 250 million monthly unique visitors collectively.
How to Tweet Photos So You’ll Get the Most Retweets (AllTwitter)
HubSpot’s “Social Media Scientist” Dan Zarrella recently collected a dataset of more than 400,000 randomly selected tweets and calculated the number of times each tweet received a native (“new”, as opposed to manual RT) retweet in order to determine the most successful method by which users can tweet photos. Zarrella compared four of the most popular ways to send images to Twitter: Facebook image links, Instagram, Twitpic and Twitter’s own, native image uploading service (seen in tweets as pic.Twitter.com).
Yahoo Announces Third-Quarter Earnings: It’s All About the Alibaba (The Verge)
Yahoo reported its third-quarter numbers Tuesday, with revenue of $1.1 billion and earnings of 34 cents a share. The real story, however, is Yahoo’s massive stake in Chinese Web giant Alibaba.
How ‘Stevie’ is Curating Celebrities’ Social Channels into TV Style Content (LostRemote)
Stevie, the Tel Aviv-based social TV startup we started covering in 2012 is continuing to innovate through curation. Like TV programmers and schedulers who spend endless hours placing TV in a certain linear format for viewers, Stevie is trying to make sense of celebrities’ massive influence on social to offer premium content.