There’s a brand new job alert out there this week, engineers and developers, and you should hop right on it if you want to help the FBI work on a tool which will provide them with an “Open Source and social media alert, mapping, and analysis application solution.” What I want to do right now is, in a very basic way, debunk how this situation will almost certainly be blown out of proportion by the same crew of people that ultimately (and thankfully) took down the SOPA and PIPA bills. This tool, if I’m to trust the job offer I’m reading here from the Federal Business Opportunities website, is not going to be hacking into your personal or secured information in any way. Instead it will be a mass organization and search tool for the FBI to keep track of all social and open source sites on the internet at all times.
If you fear that the information you share with the public on a daily basis will be read by the FBI and you’ll get targeted for it, you’re in for a sour surprise: they’ve been reading your posts since the internet was invented. What this tool will be for them is a way to be a bit more omnipotent about it all, it being a “secure, light weight web application portal, using mash-up technology” whatever that means, that “must have the ability to rapidly assemble critical open source information and intelligence that will allow SIOC to quickly vet, identify, and geo-locate breaking events, incidents, and emerging threats.” I’m not so sure their “cached and real-time proprietary data” request is all that realistic, but the rest seems like a task that could be attainable by a team of you industrious developers and engineers out there.
One of the main objectives of this future setup the FBI is requesting someone make is:
Provide a user defined operations pictures[sp] (ODOP) that are flexible to support a myriad of functional FBI missions. Examples include but are not limited to: Reconnaissance & Surveillance, NSSE Planning, NSSE Operations, SIOC Operations, Counter Intelligence, Terrorism, Cybercrime, etc.
The reason this comes to our attention is, of course, the specific listing of a set of websites that should, first and foremost, be able to be Searched:
Ability for user to create, define, and select parameters/key word requirements. Automated search of national news, local news, and social media networks. Examples include but are not limited to Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Another interesting layer lies in the “Map” category for requirements:
Ability to immediately access geospatial maps with coding in addition to providing critical infrastructural layers. Preferred maps include but are not limited to Google Maps, Google 3D maps, ESRI, and Yahoo Maps. The FBI will provide the layers to the selected vendor who must in tern incorporate the layer(s) on the respective geospatial map.
Finally there’s a category for requirements that’s called “Twitter and other Social Networking Monitoring:
Ability to instantly search and monitor key words and strings in all “publicly available” tweets across the Twitter Site and other “publicly available” social networking sites/forums (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, etc.).