Many government agencies concerned with homeland security have programs and technology that filters or mines millions of pieces of information (phone conversations, posts on the internet) looking for key terms that have been flagged in a central data base. When the program detects one of these terms or phrases (Taliban is an example of one of these terms) it is flagged, and an analyst at the agency is alerted and given the information of where the alert is coming from. After some research, if the flag is considered a threat the agency will start to monitor the person or people responsible pretty closely. In the article “Tracking the Flu with Technology,”a new method, much like the method mentioned above, for tracking contagious illnesses is being introduced. Researchers at Johns Hopkins university have taken the ideas of government spy agencies like the CIA and developed a method for filtering online posts (like tweets) and searches (google searches) to show areas that are being affected by epidemics like the flu virus. When people tweet about how sick they are, their tweet is then picked up by the filter and reported back to the researchers. The researchers can then track where the tweet came from and get an idea of an area that is or may soon be affected by an outbreak. This kind of information filtering can prove to be invaluable to disease prevention moving foreword. Currently, the Center for Disease Control is the US authority on predicting and tracking disease outbreaks, but by the time the information they gather gets to the everyday citizen it is 2 to 3 weeks old already. By using this new technology, agencies like the CDC can use and distribute real-time information to help regions prepare for an epidemic that otherwise would go unnoticed until everyone was already sick. It is true that the system isn’t full proof, key terms that the program is supposed to look for could be miss used, but still the idea is worthy of further R&D. If this technology could help to predict, prevent or even lessen the severity of a virus like the flu, it is worth its weight in gold. This is just another example of what you can get done when it comes to utilizing social networks, and networks in general.