FBI Wants to Invest in Social Media Surveillance Tool

Terrorist organizations know their way around the web, and they don’t shy away from using social networks to communicate with each other or to recruit new members. The FBI is looking into gaining more control over social media and the content shared on these platforms, allegedly to keep a closer eye on terrorist organizations, crime groups and national security threats, the agency announced last week.

The organization issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) looking for contracts for a social media surveillance tool that would alert them to suspicious online behavior.

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intends to award a firm fixed-price contract for the purpose of acquiring subscriptions services to a social media early alerting tool in order to mitigate multifaceted threats, while ensuring all privacy and civil liberties compliance requirements are met,” said the Bureau.

“The mission-critical exploitation of social media will enable the Bureau to detect, disrupt, and investigate an ever growing diverse range of threats to U.S. National interests.”

The tool would monitor keywords and gather data about social media users such as IDs, emails, IP addresses, phone numbers and location history, yet the FBI claims it would not violate civil liberties and user privacy.

It’s hard to believe the US government would not violate user privacy while conducting major surveillance over the web. The pervasiveness of any such tool is open to question, considering US President Donald Trump has expressed interest in using social platforms to monitor immigrants as well as people on disability benefits?