One of the biggest challenges the government faces in the information age is balancing both national security and privacy concerns. The dilemma of ensuring security for citizens while at the same time protecting these citizens' liberties and privacy has come to the forefront, especially now after events such as 9/11 and also from Edward Snowden's revelations regarding the NSA. It is important to be able to collect intelligence against those who may do us harm, but it is equally important to protect citizens' fundamental rights.
Data Mining can be defined as the process of collecting, searching through, and analyzing a large amount of data in a database, as to discover patterns or relationships. (From Dictionary.com)
Despite privacy settings for social media accounts, people's personal information might not be as private as they think. Social media is being used more than ever to collect information on people and their activities. Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) refers to the collectives tools and solutions that allow organizations to monitor social channels and conversations, respond to social signals and synthesize social data points into meaningful trends and analysis based on the user's needs. Social media intelligence allows one to collect intelligence gathering from social media sites, using both intrusive or non-intrusive means, from open and closed social networks (From https://goo.gl/gHOAja)