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FBI Looking to Monitor Social Media for Security Threats in Near Real Time - Document

© AP Photo / Ben MargotFacebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif
Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has been looking to award a contract for gathering and monitoring user information on social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, in near real-time, citing threats to national security interests that it must cope with, a contracting document showed.

The entry was published on the US government procurement website on 8 July but leapt in the attention of media outlets on Friday.

"With the increased use of social media platforms by subjects of current FBI investigations and individuals that pose a threat to the United States, it is critical to obtain a service which will allow the FBI to identify relevant information from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other Social media platforms in a timely fashion. Consequently, the FBI needs near real-time access to a full range of social media exchanges in order to obtain the most current information available in furtherance of its law enforcement and intelligence missions", the Request for Proposal for a social media alerting tool read.

The FBI insisted that as part of the project, the contractor would be tasked with collecting user data in a lawful manner and "ensuring all privacy and civil liberties compliance requirements are met".

Still, according to US media reports, citing rights supporters, the contract could compromise civil liberties.

According to CNN, citing another procurement document, back in 2016, the FBI hired data analysis company Dataminr, linked to Twitter, to monitor information that could point to security threats by searching the Twitter database in near real time.

The broadcaster added it was unclear if the FBI sought to add to Dataminr's capabilities by the new contract. The FBI had refused to comment on the issue.



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