The FBI is now planning to monitor Twitter.
It is trying to find out if social media can provide intelligence tips.
What kind of software would do this? The FBI does not know. I’ll bet some enterprising soul will figure out a way to convince them that he has what they need.
The US domestic law enforcement agency is asking information technology contractors about the feasibility of building a tool that would “enhance its techniques for collecting and sharing ‘open source’ actionable intelligence.”
The January 19 open request was published on a website offering federal business opportunities and was first reported by New Scientist magazine.
The FBI said it is seeking an “open source and social media alert, mapping and analysis application solution” for its Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC).
Why am I skeptical that this will pan out for the FBI? Is it because I don’t think most programmers know how to analyze normal people’s motives? Yes.
“Social media has become a primary source of intelligence because it has become the premier first response to key events and the primal alert to possible developing situations,” the FBI request said.
It coiuld also have said, “we will make you rich if you can persuade us that you can find specific needles in large haystacks.”
“Intelligence analysts will often use social media to receive the first tip-off that a crisis has occurred,” it said.
It sounds good. Is there any evidence that the FBI has cracked a major case this way? Not yet.
In addition, it would have to be able “to immediately translate into English, tweets and any other open forum publically available social media captured in a foreign language.
I think looking for a programmer who can deliver the goods is like looking for a 5,000 needles in a haystack. Not one of them can deliver.
But the bureaucrats keep trying to monitor us.