(FeaturedNews.com) – The FBI secured a contract for Babel X software, obtaining 5,000 licenses. The program allows for the monitoring of social media posts. Democrats and Republicans in Congress question the surveillance of citizens on social media platforms.
Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) requested a briefing on the FBI’s plans. He expressed concerns about overstepping boundaries and the potential for suppression of political speech.
The FBI is spending millions on social media tracking software.
Does anyone actually believe they'll use it properly?https://t.co/ockvhffmEa
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 5, 2022
The Department of Justice has used Babel X before, but this contract marks the costliest payment for use. The expected expenses for the agreement, which began on March 30, are up to $27 million.
With the software, the FBI will be going in-depth. They can search emojis, detect bots, translate foreign languages, and analyze emotions to determine the poster’s attitude. Senior counsel and co-director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Security and Surveillance Project, Greg Nojeim, said there is a high risk for agents to misinterpret information, which could lead to needless investigations into innocent people.
The Washington Post said the FBI released a statement concerning this contract, insisting the agency uses the software to search public information on social media sites to assist with investigations into threats, terrorism, and violations of federal law. The agency also claims it isn’t violating any privacy laws because it only monitors information available publicly and accessible to anyone.
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