Anti-terrorism authorities in both the US and the UK are becoming increasingly worried about the role of Twitter in "extremist groups." Twitter
is a free social networking site which allows users to post "tweets
" to update their networks. Additionally, large businesses like Cisco Systems, Jet Blue, and Whole Foods Market use Twitter to disseminate product information. The LA Fire Department used it to monitor fires, and Barack Obama uses it to update supporters.
A recent US Army report contains a chapter on "Potential for Terrorist Use of Twitter" and notes that protesters used Twitter to organize efforts at the RNC
this year. Additionally, Twitter was faster than US news services in reporting earthquakes in LA this July. For this reason and because satellite navigation and mapping tools have been discussed in al-Qaeda forums twitter is seen as a possible venue for terrorists.