Post by: Kim Stephens
New software from a company called Intergen, based in New Zealand, looks like a promising tool for monitoring social media. Interestingly, the software was specifically designed for emergency management and law enforcement.
Here are their claims:
- It charts intelligence by location and keyword so users can be better informed, anticipate situations and respond. It also:
- is easy to set up and easy to use. Simple as using keywords in Google search, and mapping results down to a location level.
- has secure storage of customisable duration to provide a strong audit trail.
- can be used by extensive number of users and searches producing real time intelligence for decision making.
As a side note, as these tools emerge that allow public agencies to do things like “monitor persons of interest and build criminal profiles” I’m sure we will hear even more concerns voiced here in the United States about protecting citizens’ privacy and First Amendments rights. The subject was highlighted in a February 2012 House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence hearing titled: “DHS Monitoring of Social Networking and Media: Enhancing Intelligence Gathering and Ensuring Privacy.” Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), the subcommittee chairman, and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), according to the Huffington Post, also sent a letter to DHS which stated:
“Although there are clear advantages to monitoring social media to identify possible threats to our security, there are also privacy and civil liberties concerns implicit in this activity,” they wrote. “With its domestic mission, the Department of Homeland Security needs to be mindful of the rights of the citizens of our country to express themselves online. Not only should guidance issued by the Department permit analysts to do their jobs identifying threats, but it should also be stringent enough to protect the rights of our citizens.”
See the full text of the testimony of Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief Privacy Officer of DHS, here. She highlights the agency’s plan for protecting citizen privacy–some of their steps could be adapted for use by local and state governments.
Even with all of that in mind, if your organization is looking for monitoring software, Intergen is worth investigating. See their video:
- New Tools for Monitoring Social Media Eco-System (theinfodrop.wordpress.com)
- Social Media Security Basics Infographic (veracode.com)
- Social Media Could Help Stop The Next Epidemic Before It Starts (geekosystem.com)
- 17 Little Known Social Media Tools You Should Be Using (and Why) (apartmentguide.com)