Surveillance

Feds To Scan Social Media for Bioterrorism References

Whatever you do, don't call your ex a "disease"

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The US department of Homeland Security has commissioned a one-year contract to investigate the efficacy of using social networks to identify instances of bioterrorism, pandemics and other health and security risks.

It is paying Accenture Federal Services $3 million (£1.8 million) to scan the networks' for key words in real time to see if growing threats or health trends can be distinguished. So if an individual flags up a nasty cough in a Facebook update, for instance, the software will be looking to see if key medical terminology is repeated in connected groups or from other individuals posting from the same location.