In an article written by Jaikumar Vijayan in the February issue of ComputerWorld
magazine, information was released regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) interest in obtaining software, which would allow them the ability to essentially eve drop on social networking users like those using one or more of popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
In a request for information or RFI sent to vendors the FBI stated the application it seeks to have built must be, "lightweight secure web portal based on mashup technology." The article goes on to say the application would allow the FBI to stay on top of breaking events and evaluate potential threats. The FBI requested from vendors that the application be able to quickly put together critical open-source data and Intel in turn giving analysts the tools to information to vent and geo-locate threats to the U.S.
In addition, the tools of the application must allow the FBI to search and gather information based on specific queries. Included in the ComputerWorld article is a statement from an Associated Press interview with an FBI spokesperson regarding obvious potential privacy issues associated with such an intrusive application. The spokesperson according to the piece down-played the concerns stating,
"The system would only be used to access publicly available information."
However, Ginger McCall, Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Open Government Project, is not convinced and is calling for proper oversight of the project.