Finding a way in murky social media waters is like searching for a gem in the flea market. That’s where tools like SOCMINT and context brokering get handy.

Flea market: illustrating a concept "Finding a way in murky social media waters is like searching for a gem in the flea market" Photo credit: Posters

The FBI intends to enter into a agreement to acquire about 200 licenses to use Dataminr’s Advanced Alerting Tool. This tool will provide the FBI with Dataminr’s Indicators and Warnings (I&W) capability, which will permit the FBI to search the complete Twitter firehose, in near real-time, using customizable filters. Dataminr will also provide the FBI with comprehensive support for the tool by providing 24-hour access to a person or person(s) who can assist the FBI, as needed, in creating customized filters and provide trouble shooting for any other problems.


The use of social media platforms, like Twitter, by terrorist groups, intelligence services, and criminal organizations to further their illegal activity creates a demonstrated need for tools to properly identify the activity and react appropriately. With increased use of Twitter by subjects of FBI investigations, it is critical to obtain a service which will allow the FBI to identify relevant information from Twitter in a timely fashion. Twitter is used extensively by terrorist organizations and other criminals to communicate, recruit, and raise funds for illegal activity. In addition, Twitter is one of the primary platforms where breaking news and events appear. Consequently, the FBI needs near real time access to the full universe of tweets on a daily basis in order to obtain the most current information available in furtherance of its law enforcement and intelligence missions.

“The FBI has a need to obtain information about relevant breaking news and events in real-time. Twitter is a platform where news first breaks on terrorist attacks, military actions, epidemiological events, and natural disasters, among other topics. The sum of all tweets generated by users globally - roughly 500,000,000+ per day and growing- is commonly referred to as the Twitter “firehose”. The FBI needs access to the full firehose, along with the ability to search it, in real time, via customizable filters that track FBI investigative priorities. Dataminr’s Indicators and Warnings service is uniquely suited to this task in that it provides access to directly access the full firehose and it will permit the FBI to design and apply filters that are specifically tailored to operational needs. In addition, while Dataminr will allow the FBI to tailor its own filters to reflect changes in investigative priorities, it also offers a reach back capability in the event the FBI needs help creating a particular filter or has other technical issues”.

According to a market research study U.S. Federal Government Mass Media Market Forecast national security and health agencies top the list of federal mass media spenders, with DoD heading the list. Intelligence Community (IC) is broadly engaged in mass media activity – both in analyzing mass media, OSINT and SOCMINT segments, and delivering its messages through Propaganda and Psychological Warfare tools. Source: DoD Heads the List of Government Advertising Spenders

Source: Solicitation Number: DJF-17-1300-PR-0000555: Social Media Awareness - Indicators & Warnings Agency: Department of Justice, Office: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Location: Procurement Section