Feds Want to Monitor Social Media

Thursday, August 8, 2013 @ 07:08 PM gHale

In what has potential privacy issues written all over it, the U.S. Secret Service wants to improve the way it monitors social media and collects information from “open sources” on the Internet and elsewhere.

The Secret Service issued a solicitation July 29, completely for small business, for a software tool that can gather intelligence from a diverse group of publicly-available sources.

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“The Government is seeking licenses for software solutions involving, but not limited to, real-time open source intelligence monitoring,” said the agency’s solicitation document.

The Secret Service, which typically would post the “statement of work” for a required contract on the FedBizOpps Web site, in this case is being more reticent in sharing the complete description of the required effort by the selected contractor. “The full Statement of Work (SoW) is being made available only to contractors that respond to this notice/solicitation…,” the Secret Service request said.

The agency envisions a firm-fixed-price contract that will cover a one-year base period of performance (running from Sept. 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014), plus four separate one-year option periods.

Even though no commercial company is currently performing this work, the Secret Service indicated in its solicitation the technical requirement itself is not new.

“There is not an incumbent contractor associated with this work,” said the agency, in reply to a prospective vendor’s question, adding, “This is not a brand-new requirement, as indicated in the solicitation.”

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