The FBI is in talks with developers to create an app that will notify them of suspicious behavior, combining information from Facebook, Twitter and Google Maps. The FBI has been monitoring user content on a lot of these sites for a while, and have lucked out in the past, catching many criminals who’ve unthinkingly revealed incriminating information.
"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 app will work as an early-warning system, allowing the FBI be alerted of any threats or crimes, with location information displayed on maps. The FBI's Strategic Information and Operations Center (SOIC), had put out a market research request for a "Social Media Application," last week, specifying the features required:
- Collect open source information from across the web on domestic and global terror data
- Automated search and scrape capability of social networks
- Allow for users to create specific keyword searches.
- Display levels of threats on maps, with colour coding, etc.
- Google Maps 3D and Yahoo Maps the "preferred" mapping options.
- Plot a wide range of domestic and global terror data.
- Translate tweets into English
The FBI said the "Information posted to social media websites is publicly accessible and voluntarily generated. Thus the opportunity not to provide information exists prior to the informational post by the user." Further assuaging privacy concerns, the bureau added that policy was in place to edit out any content that was not relevant of specific categories being researched for investigations. Sites it intends to monitor include YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Itstrending.com.
Source: BBC News