DailySA: FBI buys 5,000 social media scraping licenses – Forward Observer

FBI BUYS 5,000 SOCIAL MEDIA SCRAPING LICENSES: The FBI purchased 5,000 licenses for social media analysis software Babel X. The FBI awarded up to $27 million and, according to the solicitation, “shall be able to gather information from the following mandatory online and social media data sources: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Deep/Dark Web, VK, and Telegram…[and] additional fringe platforms, and other encrypted messaging platforms.” Also on the list are: Snapchat, TikTok, Reddit, 8Kun, Gab, Parler,, and Chinese social media website Weibo. (AC: Social media scraping and sentiment analysis tools are evolving rapidly and are in wide use by private sector entities to understand and shape public behavior, perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs. The FBI’s use of this tool is not only likely to violate the spirit of the 1st, 4th, and 6th amendment and will likely be used to target political opposition or cast aspersions on broad swaths of the citizenry. – D.M.)