It seems like the government could use all the help it can get these days. But maybe it's reaching a little too far with this next step.
The Secret Service has requisitioned new software that will detect sarcasm, among other things, and will be able to watch people on social sites in real time. That sounds pretty creepy, but this software doesn't stop there.
Here are the other things it can do:
- Real-time stream analysis;
- Customizable, keyword search features;
- Sentiment analysis;
- Trend analysis;
- Audience segmentation;
- Geographic segmentation;
- Qualitative, data visualization representations (heat maps, charts, graphs, etc.);
- Multiple user access;
- Functionality to have read-only users;
- Access to historical twitter data;
- Influencer identification;
- Standard Web browser access with login credentials;
- User level permissions;
- Compatibility with Internet Explorer 8;
- Section 508 compliant;
- Ability to detect sarcasm and false positives;
- Functionality to send notifications to users;
- Functionality to analyze data over a given period of time;
- Ability to quantify the agency's social media outreach/footprint;
- Vendor-provided training and technical/customer support;
- Ability to create custom reports without involving IT specialists; and
- Ability to search online content in multiple languages.
Why does the Secret Service need such powerful surveillance software? A few years ago, its parent, the Department of Homeland Security, landed in some hot water with civil liberties and authorities because the programs they were running at the time required agents to create fake accounts on social media to spy on other users.
This seems to be the new solution to the problem of ethically snooping on citizens. What do you think? Is it necessary or completely creepy? Tell me in the comments below.