DHS Exploring Tech to Monitor Social Media for Election Interference

DHS Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is searching for custom built algorithms and analytic capabilities to track foreign activity on social media for election interference and media manipulation.

A June 30 request for quotations (RFQ) from DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) Cyber Mission Center (CYMC) describes a single award firm fixed price contract for social media collection and analysis support services. The awardee would produce bi-weekly reports on U.S. election interference and media manipulation based on data gathered by the custom platform. DHS is interested in metrics such as the intent of the messages and the speed of message spread.

“Currently, there is a significant amount of foreign influence activity targeting U.S. 2020 elections on social media platforms, and the IC’s [intelligence community’s] lack of capability and resources in this area result in this activity being left largely untracked,” the RFQ states about the purpose of the platform. DHS specifically lists Russia, China, and Iran as actors with on-going efforts to influence the U.S. political landscape.

The data collection and analysis would ultimately result in “raw and finished intelligence products that support election security and countering foreign influence efforts.” All information provided to DHS must come from commercially available public sources void of personally identifiable information.

DHS is accepting quotations in response to the request through July 10.

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