DOD wants cyberterrorism-prediction software

The Defense Department is looking for new computer software programs that can predict “cyberterrorism events” by detecting how criminal groups and hackers interact on the Internet, Nextgov reports, citing the DOD Small Business Technology Transfer Program’s proposal submission instructions.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants new tools to comb through networking sites -- such as Facebook and Twitter -- to analyze the group dynamics of online communities. DARPA will fund the development of algorithms that make sense of Internet chatter and track how online groups evolve. The goal is to help identify how terrorist communities are recruiting and collaborating, who they are targeting, and the shifting allegiances in these spaces, according to the online news site.

DARPA is interested in software that can spot conflicts between groups and weak links that the Pentagon and law enforcement could exploit for “strategic military operations” and espionage prevention.

The first phase of funding will support teams that can identify ways to measure group dynamics. The second phase will create a demo program that can create a coherent narrative by drawing on the movements of more than 1,000 groups and 1 million-plus members generating more than 100,000 online posts each day.

The third phase of funding is expected to produce tools that market analysts, polling organizations and defense agencies can tap. The Defense Department plans to start accepting proposals on August 27. The solicitation closes September 26.

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