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Are URL shorteners like, which transform long web addresses into short links for social networking sites such as Twitter, a security risk? Anil Dash, a blogging expert working on government connectivity, thinks so, and urges the White House Twitter feed to avoid using the service. As he tells New York Times technology blogger Nick Bilton: ends in .ly, which is actually a Libyan domain name. Probably not the best idea for the U.S. government to use. If the White House is sending me a Tweet, I need to know that it’s going to a trusted government resource.

Is Dash right to be concerned? Although its URL is associated with Libyran web addresses, is an American company--it's not as if all its links are routed through Colonel Qaddafi's Blackberry. Nevertheless, Dash thinks the government would be wise to use instead. He later quotes L.L. Cool J on an unrelated point.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.