Article By JD Heyes
At a time when the FBI’s reputation is at one of the lowest points in history thanks to the involvement of former ranking members in “Spygate,” the plot to overthrow POTUS Donald Trump, the bureau is shopping for technology that allows it to monitor social media in real time, allegedly to spot potential criminal activity.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intends to award a firm fixed-price contract for the purpose of acquiring subscription 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,” said a FedBizOpps listing, titled “Social Media Alerting Subscription” on behalf of the Department of Justice.
“Offers shall include qualifications, details and pricing for subscription services” technology that will allow agents to snoop on social media sites effortlessly and as posts occur.
Think of this as the FBI’s version of the National Security Agency’s massive snooping technologies outed by former contractor Edward Snowden. Only, the bureau’s technology will be specifically used for domestic spying since the FBI is, first and foremost, a domestic federal law enforcement agency.
According to a report by NextGov, Americans have nothing to worry about because the bureau just wants this technology so it can, you know, track “criminals” and “terrorist suspects” online:
The Federal Bureau of Investigations aims to acquire access to a “social media early alerting tool” that will help insiders proactively and reactively monitor how terrorist groups, foreign intelligence services, criminal organizations and other domestic threats use networking platforms to further their illegal efforts, according to a request for proposal…
“With 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 agency said in the RFP. “Consequently, the FBI needs near real-time access to a full range of social media exchanges in order to obtain the most current information available in furtherance of its law enforcement and intelligence missions.”
The FBI can’t yet be trusted with this technology
Further, the RFP noted that increased use of social media by terrorist groups, domestic threats, foreign intelligence services, and criminal organizations to further their illegal activity creates a demonstrated need for tools to properly identify the activity and react appropriately.”
“It is an acknowledged fact that virtually every incident and subject of FBI investigative interest has a presence online,” said the bureau. “The mission critical exploitation of social media enables the Bureau to proactively detect, disrupt, and investigate an ever growing diverse range of threats.”
Kind of like arresting someone before they actually commit a crime — which turns our system of justice on its head.
Mind you, this comes from the same agency led recently by Spygate co-conspirators James Comey and Andrew McCabe, the director and deputy director respectively, both of whom were involved in spying on the 2016 Trump campaign and who also helped craft and perpetuate the “Russian collusion” narrative. (Related: Corrupt FBI cites completely discredited SNOPES and Wikipedia to declare “conspiracy theorists” are domestic terrorism threat.)
Also, the FBI promises it won’t abuse this power one iota. You know, like the NSA promised before it used its massively powerful surveillance tools to scoop up cell phone, Internet, and other electronically transmitted data on Americans.
“Items of interest in this context are social networks, user IDs, emails, IP addresses and telephone numbers, along with likely additional accounts with similar IDs or aliases,” said the bureau.
Everything about your existence in modern society, in other words.
While most Americans understand and accept the FBI’s role as our country’s premier federal law enforcement agency, until the bureau can prove it is no longer being used as a political tool by the power elite, best to just table this technology request.
The British government plans to collect lifelong records on all residents starting at the age of five, in order to screen for those who might be more likely to commit crimes in the future.
In a plan being piloted by Lincolnshire Community Health Services, all parents of children starting school are being sent an 83-question survey that asks detailed questions about their lives and their children’s behavior.
“This is incredibly intrusive and asks questions which, quite frankly, Lincolnshire Community Health Services do not need to know and have no right knowing,” said Dylan Sharpe of the group Big Brother Watch. “Even worse, the NHS Trust has failed to make it clear that this is a voluntary questionnaire. I would advise any parent receiving this to stick it straight in the bin.”
The questionnaire asks everything from how often the child lies, bullies, or steals inside or outside the home to how often she or he eats red meat, takeout food or carbonated beverages. Parents are also asked how well they themselves did in school, whether they have friends, and if they feel like they can speak freely in front of others.
The plan is for the forms to be filled out every year and supplemented by reports from teachers and social workers. When children become old enough, they will also be asked to fill out questionnaires.
The information will be kept on file indefinitely, and will be accessible to health workers to decide if parents should be offered “support” to “enhance children’s life chances.”
The government plans to expand the plan to all of England and Wales some time this year.
“This is badly wrong for a number of reasons,” said Jill Kirby of the Center for Policy Studies. “Parents are not told how the information will be used, nor that they can refuse to give it and it will create worry and suspicion among many families. … It will make families wary and those most in need of help are likely to retreat from it.”