Media Coverage on the purchase of social media mining tools
Date: April 28, 2020
Media coverage on how Canada's national police force wants a digital tool to harvest data from a sweeping variety of online sources, including the darkest reaches of the internet, to provide early information on threats such as disease outbreaks and mass shootings.
- We are committed to keeping Canadians safe and protecting their privacy rights. Strong privacy laws are critical in that effort.
- Canada’s security and intelligence community works tirelessly to identify, assess, advise on and respond to threats to our nation’s security.
- The RCMP constantly monitors new and evolving technologies in order to keep pace with the evolving methods of criminals
- Moving forward, the security and intelligence community will continue to play a crucial role by providing timely and relevant information in support of our Government’s extraordinary efforts to manage this current crisis.
CTV media coverage has published an article stating that Canada's national police force wants a digital tool to harvest data from a sweeping variety of online sources, including the darkest reaches of the internet, to provide early information on threats such as disease outbreaks and mass shootings.
The software would allow an RCMP officer to quickly mine data about a person's internet activities, from an emoji posting on Facebook to an illicit firearm purchase on the so-called darknet.
"Social media and publicly available information will be used to identify threats and address public concerns," says the RCMP contract tender. The solicitation notice was issued in mid-April, just days before a gunman went on a deadly rampage in Nova Scotia.”
The police must keep pace with the emergence of new technologies to best serve their communities. Analysis of open source information, including Internet and social media content, is now a critical function of law enforcement for operational and communication purposes. Social media analysis can support public safety in a variety of ways. The RCMP's Tactical Internet Operational Support unit uses it to help detect threats to major events, infrastructure or other locations. It has also been employed to detect threats to public figures, prevent suicide, school shootings and other criminal actions that perpetrators planned to commit and discussed on social media.
With this request, we are looking for a complimentary tool that would further the functionality of our existing Social Studio software.
Following the fatal shooting of three police officers and the wounding of two others in Moncton, NB, in 2014, the ensuing MacNeil Report made a number of recommendations to the RCMP. Among them was the procurement of a real-time social media monitoring tool to help identify operational risks and improve public communication. You can view the report at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/independent-review-moncton-shooting-june-4-201
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has a requirement for a Social Media platform to be delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to assist the RCMP in addressing a major priority for safety and security of Canadians. Social media and publicly available information will be used to identify threats and address public concerns, determine potential public relations issues, enhance strategic, operational and tactical information for improved decision making in a crisis or major event setting. The tender notice was issued on April 15, 2020.
We are finalizing a Privacy Impact Assessment on the use of social media analysis software for operational purposes and, once completed, will post an executive summary on the RCMP’s website.
The RCMP’s request for tender abides by all policies and legislation related to the use of open source data, such as the Access to Information Act, Privacy Act, Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Criminal Code, Code of Conduct of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, Canada Evidence Act, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act.
Prepared by: Sean McGillis, Executive Director Federal Policing Strategic Direction, 613-843-6866
Approved by: Mike Duheme, Deputy Commissioner Federal Policing, 613-843-6866
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