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?