FBI software specifications to monitor social networks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is calling on IT companies to submit a “white paper” on how to build a software tool to monitor social networks like Facebook and Twitter, they want to use the information collected to predict and respond to crisis. The system should be able to work in real time, with search capabilities of social networks and news sites like the CNN and MSNBC, using keywords and parameters defined by FBI agents, with automated filtering of collected data. Other specifications include instant notifications of breaking events triggered by keywords and the alerts being shown colour coded on a geospatial map with the ability to save and archive warnings, they even mention their preferred maps, which are Google Maps, Google 3D Maps and Yahoo Maps.


The application should help view domestic terrorist threats and worldwide, classifying terror groups, being able to quickly locate US embassies and Government installations around the globe including details like the weather forecast and displaying video feeds of traffic cameras in real time to spot traffic patterns like bottlenecks, obstructions and flash mobs. Twitter is specifically mentioned and the FBI asks for the ability to instantly search and monitor all publicly available tweets across the whole Twitter site, the application must be able to translate foreign language tweets into English, using a minimum of 12 different languages, attaching a reference document of “tweet” lingo for officers to be able to understand the data. Vendors able to build that kind of mass surveillance software must include their estimated pricing to the FBI.

A quick reminder that if you don’t want your Facebook postings to be read and stored by the FBI, the only privacy workarounds are not to use a social network, use something more anonymous like Pidder, or to only post in private not allowing public view. Besides the Government, employers and enemies alike can find the information you post in Facebook useful too.

Reference: Federal Business Opportunities (fbo.gov)

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