National Security

Hey, Internet Meme Trackers: The Pentagon Wants YOU!


We told you the Pentagon was getting serious about its war strategy for the internet, but we didn’t realize that meant getting social. The New York Times Bits blog reports that the Pentagon’s R&D arm is offering $42 million in funding to people that can help it use sites like Twitter and Facebook as both an early detection system and a weapon. In a document circulating among potential researchers, the military says that post-Arab Spring it’s interested in being able to find and track the spread of ideas.

In fact, they’re soliciting proposals to build what Bits calls, “at its most basic level, an Internet meme tracker” that would use tools like “linguistic cues, patterns of information flow, topic trend analysis, sentiment detection and opinion mining.” Read More