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Feb 12, 2012 11:17 AM by Matt Stafford

FBI wants to use social networks to predict the future

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The U.S. government is seeking software that can mine social media to predict the future.

Solicitations posted online show federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies hope to anticipate everything from terrorist attacks to foreign uprisings by sifting billions of posts from Twitter and other social networks.

The FBI last month outlined its desire for a digital tool to scan the entire universe of social media - more data than humans could ever crunch.

The Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also have solicited the private sector for similar tools

The proposals already have raised privacy concerns among advocates who worry that such monitoring efforts could have a chilling effect on users.

The FBI says their proposed system will only monitor publicly available information.

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