I pointed to the FBI RFI on Social Media mining innocently enough. Before the privacy advocates got into full voice.
Your privacy isn’t in any danger from this proposal from the FBI.
Yes, it talks about mining social media but it also says its objectives are:
- Provide a user defined operations pictures (UDOP) that are flexible to support a myriad of functional FBI missions. Examples include but are not limited to: Reconnaissance & Surveillance, NSSE Planning, NSSE Operations, SIOC Operations, Counter Intelligence, Terrorism, Cybercrime, etc.
- To improve the FBI SIOC’s open source intelligence collection capabilities by establishing a robust open source platform that has the flexibility to change search parameters and geo-locate the search based on breaking events or emerging threats.
- Improve and accelerate the speed by which the FBI SIOC is alerted, vetted and notified of breaking events and emerging threats to more effectively notify the appropriate FO. LEGAT or OGA. (push vs. pull)
- Provide FBI Executive Management with enhanced strategic, operational and tactical information for improved decision making
- Empower the FBI SIOC with rapid self-service application to quickly adjust open source “search” parameters to a breaking event, crisis, and emerging threats.
Do you wonder what they mean by “open source?” Or do they intend to contract for “open source” in the Apache sense for do-it-yourself spyware?
The “…include but are not limited to: Reconnaissance & Surveillance, NSSE Planning, NSSE Operations, SIOC Operations, Counter Intelligence, Terrorism, Cybercrime, etc.” reminds me of the > 700,000 lines of code from the Virtual Case File project at the FBI.
The objective that makes me feel safe is: “Provide FBI Executive Management with enhanced strategic, operational and tactical information for improved decision making”
Does that help you realize this set of “objectives” was written by some FBI executive leafing through Wired magazine and just jotting down words and phrases?
I am sure there are some cutting edge applications that could be developed for the FBI. That would further its legitimate mission(s).
But unless and until the requirements for those applications are developed by, for and with the FBI personnel actively performing those missions, prior to seeking input from vendors, this is just another $170 Million rat-hole.
To be very clear, requirements should be developed by parties who have no interest in the final contract or services.