FBI wants to monitor Facebook and Instagram for terrorists | Legislation

The data of users of networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter may be even more exposed to third parties. That’s because the FBI wants to monitor information published on these platforms to combat terrorist groups and threats to the United States.


According to the Wall Street Journal, an FBI tender was published on July 8 and will end on August 27. The document points out that the winner will need to help the agency “proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States.”

“With the increasing use of social media for current FBI investigations and individuals posing a threat to the United States, it is critical to obtain a service that allows the FBI to identify relevant information from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and other social media platforms in a timely manner, ”says the document.

“Consequently, the FBI needs almost real-time access to a full range of social media exchanges to get the most up-to-date information available for law enforcement and intelligence missions,” he continues.

The FBI wants access to data available to everyone, not private messages, for example. That would still include names, user IDs and photos. The information would be combined with other sources to create profiles and track the activities of certain people.

In its bidding, the agency asks that the proposals offer the possibility of “obtaining the complete profile of the social network of people of interest and their affiliation with any organization or group”. The solution should also be able to monitor the activity of people in certain neighborhoods and to search for keywords related to potential illegal activities.

The tool will not be able to leave traces for social networks or other federal agencies. In addition, the FBI adds that the company winning the bid must agree to keep the data obtained from the system under exclusive government ownership.

The FBI plan was not well received by social media. Twitter told the WSJ which prohibits the use of data “by any entity for surveillance purposes, or in any other way that would be inconsistent with our users’ reasonable expectations of privacy”.

Facebook, for its part, did not comment on the FBI’s plans. THE CNNhowever, the company has forwarded its policies to developers, who prohibit the use of user data to “provide tools that are used for surveillance”.

A monitoring system by the FBI follows the opposite path to that taken by the US Congress and the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which have taken steps to try to guarantee users’ privacy.

Remember that Facebook was fined $ 5 billion by the FTC for the Cambridge Analytica case. In agreement with the commission, the company agreed to revise its systems to avoid new privacy problems and to conduct more rigorous analyzes on third-party applications. The FBI system would prevent the social network from complying with the agreement.

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