DailySA: FBI buys 5,000 social media scraping licenses – Forward Observer

DailySA: FBI buys 5,000 social media scraping licenses

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 08 April 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • FBI buys 5,000 social media scraping licenses
  • Romania fears fallout, issues potassium iodide pills
  • Army drone swarms with ‘wolfpack’ behavior
  • French presidential election this weekend

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  • Early Warning Intelligence Summary
  • Far Left Activity Rollup & Outlook

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

FBI BUYS 5,000 SOCIAL MEDIA SCRAPING LICENSES: The FBI purchased 5,000 licenses for social media analysis software Babel X. The FBI awarded up to $27 million and, according to the solicitation, “shall be able to gather information from the following mandatory online and social media data sources: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Deep/Dark Web, VK, and Telegram…[and] additional fringe platforms, and other encrypted messaging platforms.” Also on the list are: Snapchat, TikTok, Reddit, 8Kun, Gab, Parler, ask.fm, and Chinese social media website Weibo. (AC: Social media scraping and sentiment analysis tools are evolving rapidly and are in wide use by private sector entities to understand and shape public behavior, perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs. The FBI’s use of this tool is not only likely to violate the spirit of the 1st, 4th, and 6th amendment and will likely be used to target political opposition or cast aspersions on broad swaths of the citizenry. – D.M.)

ROMANIA FEARS FALLOUT, ISSUES POTASSIUM IODIDE PILLS: Romania’s government and Ministry of Health is starting a “campaign to inform the population on how to administer and store potassium iodide (IK) tablets. The Romanian government didn’t specify why they are starting this campaign saying, “at this time, there is no danger of making these pills necessary.” The move coincides with a European Commission recommendation that EU members stock up on IK tablets. (AC: Russia’s threats of nuclear force indicate potential fallout impacts due to Romania’s proximity to Ukraine and 381-mile border. Romania’s distribution plan for the second half of April aligns with Russia’s anticipated 9 May victory declaration. – D.M.)

ARMY DRONE SWARMS WITH ‘WOLFPACK’ BEHAVIOR: The U.S. Army is experimenting with drone swarms and what it calls “wolfpack” behavior. Drone swarms will perform duties that are hierarchical and feature the ability to “fill the gap” if drones become disabled. The Army hopes the swarm will demonstrate detection, geolocation, target identification, and electronic warfare capabilities. (AC: Drone swarm mesh networks and automation are major initiatives in public and private small unmanned aerial vehicle industry. Automation of complex commands will minimize the time needed to teach an operator to become effective in the field. Coupling this with mesh wolf pack behavior increases the likelihood of mission success due to the decentralization. – D.F.)

FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THIS WEEKEND: On Sunday, 10 April, France heads to the polls for the first round of presidential elections. Incumbent Emmanuel Macron currently leads polling data within the margin of error over National Rally challenger Marine Le Pen. Macron and LePen are widely expected to face off in a second election on 24 April.  (AC: According to mainstream outlets, Macron is considered most likely to win. A LePen victory, however, would continue the wave of right wing political victories seen in other parts of Europe. Last year, we reported on a letter signed by retired French generals and some active duty officers who warned Macron of an impending civil war that would decide the survival of France. This election could have substantial consequences for the European Union and NATO, as well. – M.S.)

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