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Feds seek help spying on 'news articles, blog posts'

The U.S. government has released newly developed software to researchers to enable them to spy on “news articles, blog posts” and the like, according to a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The announcement appeared on the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The posting said that the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, inside the ODNI, is releasing to researchers the Accurate Events from Natural Text technology.

The software, called ACCENT, was distributed “to spur increased activity in the research community.”

“ACCENT is a state-of-the-art automated event coder capable of identifying nearly 300 types of socio-political events in text (news articles, blog posts, etc.). ACCENT was developed by Raytheon BBN under multiple government contracts,” the announcement said.

Explained the ODNI: “ACCENT is based on the Statistical Entity and Relation Information technology developed under Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funding. Under the Office of Naval Research’s Worldwide Integrated Crisis Early Warning System program, ACCENT more than doubled the accuracy of the previously deployed solution and is now in regular use at U.S. Strategic Command in support of systems monitoring and forecasting national and international crises.

“IARPA funded further improvements of ACCENT under the Solutions for Event Coding seedling,” the report said.

The federal government’s monitoring of articles, posted statements and blogs has been the status quo for years already.

But the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union has pointed out that some of the monitoring is a “rapidly expanding industry that the public knows little about.”

The ACLU was addressing another social media monitoring software called Digital Stakeout.

“What privacy concerns does it raise? And how we can protect free speech and privacy moving forward?

“SMMS is a booming industry,” the ACLU said. “Products like XI Social Discovery, Geofeedia, Dataminr, Dunami, and SocioSpyder (to name just a few) are being purchased in droves by Fortune 500 companies, politicians, law enforcement, federal agencies, defense contractors, and the military. Even the CIA has a venture fund, In-Q-Tel, that invests in SMMS technology.”

For the rest of this report, and more, please go to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.