The FBI is searching for contractors to monitor social media for potential threats, the announcement raises concerns for user privacy.
The abuse of social media passwords for malicious purpose is quite common, for this reason, the FBI is searching for contractors to monitor them.
However, monitoring activity could threaten user privacy and set up possible conflicts with social media giants, such as Facebook, over privacy.
“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.” reads the Solicitation Proposal Number DJF194750PR0000369.
The FBI announced that the activity of the potential contractor has to ensure privacy and civil liberties of the users of social media, anyway experts believe that monitoring tool would likely violate privacy terms of social media firms.
“Such a tool would likely violate the companies’ ban against using their data for surveillance.” reported the Associated Press.
The contract solicitation could potentially clash with social media firms.
“An effort by the FBI to more aggressively monitor social media for threats sets up a clash with Facebook Inc.’s privacy policies and possibly its attempts to comply with a record $5 billion settlement with the U.S. reached last month.” states The Wall Street Journal.
The contract solicitation was published before the most recent mass shootings that raised the debate about the urgency to monitor social media to attempt to prevent such tragic events.
Both Facebook and Twitter did not comment on the report but highlighted that their policies prohibit the use of user data for surveillance purposes.
Pierluigi Paganini is member of the ENISA (European Union Agency for Network and Information Security) Threat Landscape Stakeholder Group and Cyber G7 Group, he is also a Security Evangelist, Security Analyst and Freelance Writer.
Editor-in-Chief at "Cyber Defense Magazine", Pierluigi is a cyber security expert with over 20 years experience in the field, he is Certified Ethical Hacker at EC Council in London. The passion for writing and a strong belief that security is founded on sharing and awareness led Pierluigi to find the security blog "Security Affairs" recently named a Top National Security Resource for US.
Pierluigi is a member of the "The Hacker News" team and he is a writer for some major publications in the field such as Cyber War Zone, ICTTF, Infosec Island, Infosec Institute, The Hacker News Magazine and for many other Security magazines.
Author of the Books "The Deep Dark Web" and “Digital Virtual Currency and Bitcoin”.