People like to share everything on social media, and that apparently includes the crimes they commit. The Guardian reports that because of our love of sharing, the FBI is working on building a tool that will allow them to monitor sites like Twitter and Facebook more effectively in order to help fight crime.
By decoding the publically posted social media messages -- “clapped him off the surfboard” is code for shooting the opposition, for example -- law enforcement is able to identify criminals. According to the report, the FBI recently arrested over “40 members of two feuding New York gangs,” and social media was a big part of the process.
Overall, the tool that the FBI is hoping to build doesn’t sound very ominous. It includes requests for automated searches of not only social media but also legitimate news sources like Fox News and CNN, automated alerting when certain conditions are met, and mapping capability that includes not only terrorist information but also weather, embassy, traffic, and the like.
If you’re interested in knowing more, the FBI has posted a 12 page Request for Information (RFI) detailing all of the requirements of the requested system.
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