Army wants to mine social media in Europe

The Army may soon begin to collect social media and open-source information from sources in Europe as a means of monitoring extremist groups and individuals. In a request for information posted this week, the Army said it is seeking industry review to conduct social media research and analysis to support the United States European Command and Special Operations, Europe.

According to the solicitation, the Army is looking for a contractor to provide market research, target audience analysis, research and analysis, and support to operations. This support may include building strategic communications, supporting operations to engage local populations, identifying violent extremist influences, and building interagency partnerships.

The command is responsible for operations in Russia, Greenland, Israel, Iceland, along with all of Europe, Nextgov noted.

The announcement states that contractors should be willing to perform social media platform operations, media kit development, social media monitoring and analysis, and detailed social media data-mining.

While those tasks seem to be typical social marketing tools, the Army is also looking to conduct open-source intelligence research that includes a network of indigenous researchers that can obtain local perspectives from people native to the areas of interest.

Only industry respondents that have been cleared with a secret facility clearance are allowed to respond, and the draft performance work statement has been designated as restricted distribution.

The Army has previously expressed interest in open-source information. In a notice from December 2013, the Army Intelligence and Security Command sought sources for a non-attributable service that would search and collect social media information from a changeable list of up to 40 countries.

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