The U.S. Justice Department’s criminal investigation department is pushing forward the government’s far-reaching Surveillance State agenda by advertising for social media snitches.
A Request for Proposal (RFP) released July 8, 2019, invited bidders enrolled in the National System for Award Management (SAM) to compete for a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contract to develop a spy tool called Social Media Alerting Subscription.
The 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.”
These threats to national security include terrorist groups, domestic threats, foreign intelligence services, and criminal organizations.
Like any good shopper, the feds are choosy:
“The Government will award to the responsible offeror whose offer conforming to the attached solicitation will be the best value to the Government, technical capabilities, past performance and price considered.”
Vendor bidding was originally scheduled to end on August 8 but the FBI extended the due date for all quotations to August 27 after the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The FBI will announce its award decision by August 30, 2019.
The FBI’s amended Request for Proposal states that its purpose is “to acquire the services of a company to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests through a means of online sources.”
The winning social media service provider will receive periodic payments to sift through its users’ data to find suspicious communications:
“A subscription to this service shall grant the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) access to tools that will allow for the exploitation of lawfully collected/acquired data from social media platforms that will be stored, vetted, and formatted by a vendor.”
The FBI candidly admits that they are “exploiting” social media to stop perceived crime before it happens:
“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.”
A major obstacle to overcome is the assurance from a social media provider that its new snitchware is lawful and complies with the provider’s user policies. The FBI’s RFP names some of their prospective vendors and further explains the crime-stoppers’ perceived need to snoop into the private accounts of millions of users who aren’t suspected of doing anything wrong:
“With the increased use of social media platforms by subjects of current FBI investigations and individuals that pose a threat to the United States, it is critical to obtain a service which will allow the FBI to identify relevant information from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other Social media platforms in a timely fashion.”
The reality is that Facebook is facing a slew of class-action lawsuits and is being found guilty of and fined for violating its user privacy policies. Ironically, the U.S. government’s Justice Department issued a direct invitation to the criminal organization Facebook to police surveil and finger other prospective criminals.
Should Facebook respond with a vendor proposal to the FBI, at least one major newspaper points out another problem:
A Facebook U.S. Public Policy statement published on March 13, 2017, indicated that the corporation’s Facebook and Instagram platform policies would conform to a provision that says developers may not “use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance.”
Also concerning is that the FBI will expand its use of social media surveillance overseas:
“FBI personnel are deployed internationally and sometimes in areas of press censorship. A social media exploitation tool with international reach and paired with a strong language translation capability, can become crucial to their operations and more importantly their safety.”
Once set up, the computerized system will operate nonstop:
“Information constituting advanced notification is derived from constant monitoring of social media platforms based on keywords relevant to national security and location.”
But that’s not all. The FBI wants to combine user information from more than one online site to create a complete suspect record. The RFP requires that the subscription service must:
“Obtain the full social media profile of persons-of-interest and their affiliation to any organization or groups through the corroboration of multiple social media sources.”
It’s scary to think that your social media service provider might rat you out to the FBI and fork over your user id, email address, IP address, telephone number, location, “persistent keyword” usage, photographic tagging (linking a user’s name to an uploaded image) and personal social media histories – isn’t it?
It’s even scarier to think that mass shootings are staged false-flag events orchestrated by conspiratorial federal agencies, led by President Trump, who said after the Texas and Ohio atrocities that social media service providers could “detect mass shooters before they strike.”
One person known as TheGothConservative left a comment on Minds.com which harkened back to a popular dystopian movie starring Tom Cruise and echoed citizens’ concerns over “‘stopping mass shooting incidents, hate crimes and domestic terrorism before they happen'” – Sounds an awful lot like Minority Report. How exactly would they ‘stop’ these crimes before they happen? I get it, it sounds like a good idea, but when you look at how it would be in practice, that is when it gets scary.”
We couldn’t agree more.