The Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) is creating a spy system that will allow it to monitor social media websites, including Facebook and Twitter.
FBI analysts are hoping to pick up tips about future terrorist threats by examining “publicly available” material from Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, as well as national and local television news, including Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. The bureau intends to zero in on keywords relating to terrorism, surveillance operations, online crime and other criminal matters. It also hopes to better “track hurricane paths and timelines for landfall and other natural disasters.”
Applicants who believe they can provide the system the FBI is seeking must be able to view tweets in at least 12 languages and translate them into English. They must also have the “Ability to display video feeds from traffic cameras to monitor traffic patterns, obstructions, bottle necks, protestors, and flash mobs.”
The Central Intelligence Agency
has already been spying on Facebook and Twitter, as well as news outlets, as part of its effort to glean intelligence on upcoming threats or overseas upheaval, such as revolutions, before they begin. Doug Naquin, director of the CIA’s Open Source Center, told the Associated Press that the best analysts are those who, like the heroine of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
, know “how to find stuff other people don’t know exists.”
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
CIA Analysts Following Twitter, Facebook (by Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press)