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FBI plans to look at your social media even more than it already does

FBI wants access to user IDs, emails, IP addresses, telephone numbers, and geolocation information.


Mikael Thalen

Layer 8

Published Jul 13, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 8:47 am CDT

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is currently looking to acquire new tools to monitor the social media accounts of individuals it believes pose a threat to national security.

In an online business proposal, the agency states that it is looking for an “early alerting tool in order to mitigate multifaceted threats.”

“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 FBI writes.

The agency goes on to cite services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and their use by both international and domestic terror groups as well as foreign intelligence agents.

Any company looking to supply the agency with its services, the FBI notes, must be able to “obtain the full social media profile of persons of interest.” Such data would include user IDs, emails, IP addresses, telephone numbers, and geolocation information.

The FBI’s solicitation also calls on any potential contractor to ensure that “all privacy and civil liberties compliance requirements are met.”

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Hugh Handeyside tweeted that the FBI inquiry shows how “pervasively they’re monitoring social media content.” Given the agency’s history of targeting activists and underrepresented communities, critics argue that the potential for misuse remains constant.

“The FBI is clearly watching what we say online,” Handeyside wrote on Twitter. “We need to know more about how and why.”

The ACLU is currently involved in a legal battle with the FBI and six other agencies in an attempt to learn details regarding their social media monitoring.


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H/T Engadget 

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*First Published: Jul 13, 2019, 12:32 pm CDT