While sending a web link over Facebook Chat, a group of app developers noticed a curious amount of activity. Pulling at the thread, they discovered a mysterious company known as Recorded Future, and a potential CIA conspiracy.
Facebook Chat seems innocuous enough. So thought Bosnadev, a group of coders and bloggers, when they used the communication program to send a link. But something seemed amiss.
"During the testing of an application weve set up in a non-published area we have noticed some unusual activity," the blog reads. "The link for the app was sent via Facebook chat and afterwards comes the interesting part."
After checking the IP activity, they noticed 16 internet protocol ID tags, "lots of IPv6 for a single Facebook check."
With their interest piqued, Bosnadev ran another test, creating a fresh URL and sending it through a Facebook Chat window. Despite the fact that this new web link only existed in a single chat screen nowhere else on the Internet they noticed a similar amount of activity. Two IP addresses were their own, but Bosnadev had no explanation for the other 10 which appeared.
Its been public knowledge for years that Facebook and other social media platforms monitor chats for signs of criminal activity. As unsettling as that may be, its done with the social media companies own software. For better or worse, that monitoring is done in house.
This was different. The IP addresses led to a third-party observer, and when Bosnadev ran a trace, the trail led them to Recorded Future, an American-Swedish startup which has been backed by Google, as well as the CIA and NSA.
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