Reflecting the CIA’s “increasing focus on monitoring social media,” the spy agency’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel, has made investments in four social media mining and surveillance firms, The Intercept revealedThursday.
According to a document obtained by journalist Lee Fang, In-Q-Tel is funding companies that monitor, collect, and analyze social media traffic and activities on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The investments were previously undisclosed.
For instance, Fang points to PATHAR,
a social media intelligence company
whose product, Dunami, is already being used by the FBI to
“mine Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media to determine networks of association, centers of influence and potential signs of radicalization,” as confirmed last month by the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Another firm in In-Q-Tel’s portfolio is
Dataminr, which “directly licenses a stream of data from Twitter to visualize and quickly spot trends on behalf of law enforcement agencies and hedge funds, among other clients,” Fang writes.