The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking for a better way to spy on Facebook and Twitter users. The Bureau is asking companies to build software that can effectively scan social media online for significant words, phrases and behavior so that agents can respond. A paper posted on the FBI website asks for companies to build programs that will map sentiment and wrongdoing.
"The application must be infinitely flexible and have the ability to adapt quickly to changing threats to maintain the strategic and tactical advantage", the Request for Information said, "The purpose of this effort is to meet the outlined objectives for the enhancement [of] FBI SOIC's overall situation awareness and improved strategic decision making". The tool would be used in reconnaisance and surveillance missions, National Special Security Events (NSS) planning, NSSE operations, SOIC operations, counter intelligence, terrorism, and more.
Although the police, including in Britain, already use Facebook routinely to ascertain the whereabouts of criminals, automatically filtering out irrelevant information remains challenging. The new FBI application will be able to automatically highlight the most relevant information. The FBI is seeking responses by 10 February.