Raytheon's Riot: Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm

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posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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Raytheon, the fifth largest global defence contractor, has developed an "extreme-scale analytics" system to gather and analyse information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

While not sold to clients, the software has been shared with the US government and industry during a joint research and development effort, in 2010, allowing a national security system to analyse "trillions of entities" from cyberspace.


The power of Riot to harness popular websites for surveillance offers a rare insight into controversial techniques that have attracted interest from intelligence and national security agencies, at the same time prompting civil liberties and online privacy concerns. In the video obtained by the Guardian, it is explained by Raytheon's "principal investigator" Brian Urch that photographs users post on social networks sometimes contain latitude and longitude details – automatically embedded by smartphones within so-called "exif header data."

Riot can display on a spider diagram the associations and relationships between individuals online by looking at who they have communicated with over Twitter. It can also mine data from Facebook and sift GPS location information from Foursquare, a mobile phone app used by more than 25 million people to alert friends of their whereabouts. The Foursquare data can be used to display, in graph form, the top 10 places visited by tracked individuals and the times at which they visited them.

Jared Adams, a spokesman for Raytheon's intelligence and information systems department, said in an email: "Riot is a big data analytics system design we are working on with industry, national labs and commercial partners to help turn massive amounts of data into useable information to help meet our nation's rapidly changing security needs.

The Guardian


Raytheon's Riot mines social networks for information, extracts date and position data from photographs, tracks using mobile phones app(s) and builds spider diagrams of relationships and places visited.

Reducing a mass of data to comprehensible information seems to be the main selling point of the program to identify individuals who may prove a security risk. According to the US government's trade controls department, the program is available for export to most destinations without license.

I have always assumed that such programs have been operational for some time. I may not be too wrong in assuming that this software is the tip of an iceberg.




posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 12:54 PM
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People who are dumb enough to post information that could incriminate them on Facebook and twitter and such deserve to be caught.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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your assumption that such programs have been operational for some time would be correct. several gov't agencies have had programs like this running for years already. raytheon may have come up with a new way of doing it or something, but they didn't come up with anything new.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 10:31 AM
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Some additional info

gizmodo.com...



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 09:25 PM
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This is nothing new. Take a look at Touchgraph SEO. It does much the same thing. Then there is Maltego.

Those people who work in OSINT have had these tools for years.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by ollncasino
I have always assumed that such programs have been operational for some time. I may not be too wrong in assuming that this software is the tip of an iceberg.



You'd be right. SOC and DIA have had them running for years, first as Able Danger, now as Able Providence, although they don't call it that for obvious reasons.

It's not Raytheon they use, though. But it does mine things like Facebook and Twitter, combs the net looking for relationships, draws inferences about you that are amazingly apt. And it tracks how you interact with other people nearby you on your graph, especially if your friends are criminals or turrists.

If you don't normally buy tahini, but your buddy Achmed McWatchlist does, and one day you buy some tahini, and no one knows where Achmed is right now, it will infer that he is at your house and start looking for corroborative data, for instance.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by MX44K
People who are dumb enough to post information that could incriminate them on Facebook and twitter and such deserve to be caught.


SOC's sw doesn't just look at WHAT you post, it's as much who you tend to post to, or about, or you post similar things.

They want to know who you're intimate with. If I post back and forth with Phage a lot, or Zaphod, it'll take note of that and associate us. If zaphod uses the same moniker on a model railroad site that lists his real-life name, it'll guess that's probably the same zaphod. Same with Bedlam. Then it'll look to see if we post in our real-life names to each other. That's the info they want. Who are you close to?




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