The FBI is spending millions on social media tracking software

Social media users seemed to foreshadow the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol — and the FBI apparently missed it. 

Now, the FBI is doubling down on tracking social media posts, spending millions of dollars on thousands of licenses to powerful social media monitoring technology that privacy and civil liberties advocates say raise serious concerns.

The FBI has contracted for 5,000 licenses to use Babel X, a software made by Babel Street that lets users search social media sites within a geographic area and use other parameters.

The contract began March 30 and is worth as much as $27 million. The FBI has already agreed to pay an IT vendor around $5 million for the first year of the contract, procurement records indicate. The contract has not previously been reported.

The Justice Department has previously had Babel X in its arsenal, contracting records show. But the new contract appears to be by far the most the agency has ever shelled out for the software, and is one of the largest contracts for the software by a civilian agency, experts said.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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