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RCMP looking to obtain social media mining tool to discover threats: report

The tool would harvest data from online sources including the dark web

The RCMP is looking to obtain a digital tool that would collect data from online sources to provide early information about threats.

The Canadian Press reports that the digital tool would be used by the police force to deal with specific threats like mass shootings and disease outbreaks.

This tool would allow the RCMP to rapidly obtain data about a suspect’s internet behaviour, ranging from Facebook posts to illegal purchases through the dark web.

According to the contract tender, which was obtained by The Canadian Press, the tool would use social media and publicly available information to identify threats and address public concerns.

It would also “enhance strategic, operational and tactical information for improved decision-making in a crisis or major-event setting.”

The contract tender notes that the tool would include a dashboard that highlights breaking news, national disasters, disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks and mass-casualty events. It also suggests that the tool would ideally have a broad reach that could retrieve information in less visible parts of the internet, including the dark web.

Essentially, the RCMP wants the digital tool to be able to find information that is able to stay hidden from regular search engines.

Although the RCMP already uses social media analysis to support public safety, this type of open-source tool would likely raise privacy concerns if the force is able to get its hands on one.

Source: The Canadian Press

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