FBI goes social – and plans a social network spy app

fbi spy appThis is no CSI, White Collar or Criminal Minds TV series: this is for real!

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is planning to develop an application that can track the public’s postings to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks, in order to aid how it predicts and reacts to criminal behavior, including public disorder and terrorism.

Some evidence needed?

An FBI request for information document has been published, asking potential contractors to contact the bureau by February 10. The FBI wants respondents to the document to outline how they would build such a system and how much it would potentially cost.

The bureau said the system it wants must be able to automatically search “publicly available” material from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites for keywords of interest. FBI agents would be alerted if the searches come up with evidence of “breaking events, incidents, and emerging threats.”

Does this raise new discussions/complaints about privacy vs. security issues?

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