The US department of Homeland Security has now officially commissioned a one-year contract to investigate the efficacy of Monitoring/spying social networks to identify instances of so-called bioterrorism, pandemics and other health and security risks.
US Government Officially Start Monitoring Social Media
It is paying Accenture Federal Services $3 million to scan the networks’ for key words in real time to see if growing threats or health trends can be distinguished. So if an individual flags up a nasty cough in a Facebook update, for instance, the software will be looking to see if key medical terminology is repeated in connected groups or from other individuals posting from the same location.
According to a company statement from Accenture, the software will constantly scan blogs, as well as the usual outlets, but not all networks and channels have been decided upon. It’s no surprise that national security departments monitor social networks to look out for threats. Homeland Security is already being sued by civil liberties group Electronic Privacy Information Centre and is under pressure to answer questions about setting up fake social networking accounts to search for key words such as “virus” and “trojan”.
The department has been accused of violating the public’s free speech and constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. No one would disagree there needs to be better systems in place to monitor and protect against the spread of infectious disease, however how data is monitored to do this has come under fire.
Here is the link to the “KEY WORDS” Document – http://www.scribd.com/doc/82701103/Analyst-Desktop-Binder-REDACTED