FBI now using Dataminr to monitor social media
More specifically, Twitter
Which is kind of odd when you think about the fact that Twitter seems to be going through a slow yet impending death.
Dataminr is advertised as able to turn social media posts into actionable alerts. “Dataminr transforms the Twitter stream and other public datasets into actionable alerts, providing must-know information in real-time for clients in Finance, the Public Sector, News, Corporate Security and Crisis Management.”
Many, many people are against big brother having the ability to see what we are saying on social media. The ACLU in fact, has taken issue with that very issue with the Denver, Colorado Police Department, as well as other departments throughout the US.
Twitter did revoke API access to Geofeedia earlier this year which is what the Denver Police Department was using.
Access was revoked because it violated a clause in Twitter’s Developer Agreement, which forbids using the provided data to “investigate, track or surveil Twitter’s users.”
Now before everyone goes wild here and starts protesting or suing the FBI, keep in mind that terrorists use Twitter pretty heavily, as well as other social media.
Not to mention that the Developer Agreement was always meant more for those seeking to buy and sell user information for marketing purposes and not specifically to prevent law enforcement from utilizing tools that would help with crime prevention.
On the other hand, users of social media, the ACLU and many other organizations fear that law enforcement will utilize these types of tools in an effort to profile specific races, which brings the idea of “stop and frisk,” to social media.
I usually tell people, when you are not paying for the ability use social media, whether it’s Twitter or Facebook, GAB, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, technically you are not protected under any privacy act therefore, you should have zero expectation of guaranteed privacy while posting. Period.
Generally I do suggest law enforcement utilize tools that allow for them to monitor social media so as to prevent crime and/or death.
Sure you can report posts to whichever social media site you are on but the reality is it’s not always monitored and by the time someone gets to it it could be too late.
Posting anything online where anyone could potentially see it is a lot like being on stage or in the middle of the street yelling out for the world to hear whatever it is that you have to say.
When someone chooses to be so open with comments, statements or idea’s, where anyone can hear or see them, it makes no realistic sense to try to stop law enforcement from seeing it.
The biggest question would be, is it fair or just to try to stop law enforcement from utilizing tools such as Dataminr and Geofeedia because we assume or fear that they will use them to to racially profile or is it that we just don’t want law enforcement to see what we post online?
Maybe a little of both?
Would it change the overall opinion if law enforcement could show that having such tools helped them prevent or solve just one major crime?
Cristal M Clark