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Corporate surveillance of computer activity is very common.
Surveillance allows governments and other agencies to maintain social control, recognize and monitor threats, and prevent and investigate criminal activity.
With the advent of programs such as the Total Information Awareness program, technologies such as high speed surveillance computers and biometrics software, and laws such as the Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Act, governments now possess an unprecedented ability to monitor the activities of citizens.
There is far too much data gathered by these packet sniffers for human investigators to manually search through.
Thus, automated Internet surveillance computers sift through the vast amount of intercepted Internet traffic, filtering out, and reporting to investigators those bits of information which are "interesting", for example, the use of certain words or phrases, visiting certain types of web sites, or communicating via email or chat with a certain individual or group.
It can be used as a form of business intelligence, which enables the corporation to better tailor their products and/or services to be desirable by their customers.
Or the data can be sold to other corporations, so that they can use it for the aforementioned purpose.It may or may not be legal and may or may not require authorization from a court or other independent government agencies.Computer and network surveillance programs are widespread today and almost all Internet traffic can be monitored.This can emotionally affect people; this is because it can cause emotions like jealousy.A research group states "..set out to test the prediction that feelings of jealousy lead to ‘creeping’ on a partner through Facebook, and that women are particularly likely to engage in partner monitoring in response to jealousy".Computer technology is needed to perform traffic analysis and sift through intercepted data to look for important/useful information.