Government eavesdropping and security agency GCHQ is developing new tools to sift through them for nuggets of useful data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest. All of these are the source of valuable intelligence that the UK's intelligence agencies want to know about.
During a visit to Bletchley Park, UK foreign secretary William Hague launched a 'spy drive' to recruit staff for GCHQ and other intelligence agencies, a National Cipher Challenge for schools, and a £480,000 grant to the home of WW2 code-breaking.
"The work involves devising algorithms, testing them and general problem solving in the broad field of language and text processing. This pioneering research work is open to specialist in mathematical/statistics, computational linguists (eg speech recognition and/or language processing) and language engineering." Job Description explains.
"Using data-mining techniques, you will help us to find meaningful patterns and relationships in large volumes of data. We are looking for skills across the following areas: data intensive computing ... graph mining (web search, social network analysis), data visualisation and statistical data analysis."
NSA already have such eavesdropping monitoring software, capable of sifting out information including watch-listed names, keywords and phrases from electronic communications flowing through America's networks
Ryan Gallagher from Guardian write, In 2009, GCHQ was revealed to have initiated a programme called Mastering the Internet, a £1bn project to help monitor online communications. But analysing massive volumes of data passing through Britain's networks has proven difficult for the intelligence agency due to advances in internet and mobile technology.
GCHQ, which employs more than 5,000 people, has had difficulty finding skilled new recruits as it has struggled to compete with salaries offered in the private sector.