Already under fire for how they handle user data, social media companies like Facebook and Twitter appear to be headed for another clash with the government — this time over matters of security, rather than privacy.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI is now seeking outside vendors who can pull large amounts of public data from various social media platforms “to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests.”
“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 request for proposals reads. “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.”
Among the data the FBI is looking for: “social networks, user IDs, emails, IP addresses and telephone numbers, along with likely additional account with similar IDs or aliases.” This excludes private messages and posts, but the Wall Street Journal says that publicly available information could be combined with other data to create detailed profiles of individuals.
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