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Secret Service will tweet info during APEC meeting

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Deputy Assistant Director Derek Verdeyen, of the United States Secret Service, speaks during a media briefing on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, in Honolulu at the Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC) set up for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders? Meeting at an undisclosed location. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Staffers from varying federal, state and local agencies work on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, in Honolulu, at the Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC) set up for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders? Meeting at an undisclosed location. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Military personnel work at the Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC) on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, in Honolulu, set up for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders? Meeting at an undisclosed location. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Staffers from varying federal, state and local agencies work at the Multi-Agency Communications Center (MACC) on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, in Honolulu, set up for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders? Meeting at an undisclosed location. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
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The Secret Service said Tuesday it will use Twitter to disseminate information to the public and media for the first time during this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Honolulu.

"It is a first for us," said agency spokesman Max Milien. "We’re trying to get up to speed with the social networking."

He said the agency would release its Twitter handle or account name later.

President Barack Obama is hosting the conference, which is bringing together heads of state and other leaders from 21 member nations and economies including China, Japan, Russia and Australia.

The meeting is hosted by a different member each year. Last year, it was held in Yokohama, Japan.

The Secret Service has also set up a communications hub in Honolulu where federal, state and local authorities may share information on traffic accidents, power outages or other issues that may erupt during the meeting.

The Secret Service, Honolulu police and fire departments, the Hawaii National Guard, utility companies and other organizations have representatives at the Multi-Agency Communications Center.

"It’s key to making a seamless event to go on for Hawaii," said Derek Verdeyen, deputy assistant director of the Secret Service and the center’s supervisor.

Asked about people who may demonstrate during the event, Frank Montoya, special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Honolulu office, said his agency wanted to protect the First Amendment rights of every American to express their opinions and protest freely.

"At the same time, as we’ve seen around the world in some of these demonstrations, there are individuals that want to cause trouble, that want to break the law," Montoya told reporters. "The effort, interagency essentially, is to identify those individuals and try to prevent them from destruction of property, or worse, hurting people."

Montoya said there were indications that some of the people he described were on Oahu. He said they weren’t doing anything of concern now, but authorities were "paying attention to who they are" and have investigations involving some of them.

The Associated Press and other journalists were given a tour of the communication center on the condition that they not disclose its precise location.

The Secret Service sets up similar facilities at large-scale events like G-8 and G-20 summits and the national conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties.

APEC officially started Monday. The leaders’ summit is being held this weekend in Waikiki and Ko Olina.

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