Homeland Security may hire firms to spot signs of impending terrorism on social media

The Department of Homeland Security has its own mechanisms and systems to determine and investigate signs of impending violence and terrorism on social media. However, as the United States came to know via the Capitol riots earlier this year, sometimes that is not enough. As such, the federal department has now revealed that it is considering collaborating with external companies to detect and proactively respond to indications of potential violence via social media.

The Capitol building in the US in evening hours
Image via Shutterstock

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Homeland Security Intelligence officer and initiative leader John Cohen revealed that the department is looking at hiring external companies who can assist it in spotting signs of impending violence and terrorism on social media. Even though the federal body has its own mechanisms in place already, it believes that expanding its arsenal on this front will help significantly expand its efforts.

Although details are currently unknown, one company being considered for this joint effort is Logically. The firm has previously utilized AI and human reviews to combat voting misinformation on the internet.

While it may be scanning social media for trends related to violence, Cohen has stated that the Department of Homeland Security will not violate civil liberties in the process. External companies will not be allowed to scan for information they are restricted from seeing as part of the law. In the same vein, Logically head Lyric Jain emphasized that personal U.S. data will not be shared unless there are court orders to do so.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (paywall) via Engadget

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