THE UNITED STATES government is looking for software that it can use to turn its all seeing eye to social networking web sites.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has put out a request for software for data mining web sites, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The AP reports that the FBI, the US Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are looking for a supplier that can provide them with monitoring and analysis tools. The agencies have issued formal requests for supplier contact, it explains.
"Social media has emerged to be the first instance of communication about a crisis, trumping traditional first responders that included police, firefighters, EMT, and journalists," says the FBI request. "Social media is rivaling 911 services in crisis response and reporting."
In response to questions the FBI said that its system would only monitor information that is publicly available. However, when you consider the millions of people that use Facebook, Twitter and other social networking web sites, that's a lot of publicly available information. µ