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The CIA’s latest intrigue is to join Twitter and Facebook. The spy agency sent out its first tweet the afternoon of June 6, which said in jest: “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” The message has been re-tweeted about 98,000 times and the CIA has more than 125,000 followers as of this writing.

The social-media operation will help the agency “directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA’s mission, history and other developments,” Director John Brennan said in a statement. “We have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”

The Twitter and Facebook feeds will include news and career information, along with “artifacts” from the CIA’s museum, the agency said.

The CIA’s further embrace of social media (it is already on Flickr and YouTube) comes as the Obama administration seeks to restore public trust in America’s spy agencies. Documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed the agency was collecting bulk phone records of U.S. citizens, among other surveillance programs.

The administration faces a somewhat skeptical public. A January poll from the Associated Press and GfK found that more than 60 percent of Americans surveyed said it was more important for the government to safeguard their civil rights than protect them against terrorism.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jun 06, 2014 at 1:44 PM


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