Pentagon Wants To Predict Anti-Trump Protests Using Social Media Surveillance

The United States government is accelerating efforts to monitor social media to preempt major anti-government protests in the U.S., according to scientific research, official government documents, and patent filings reviewed by Motherboard. The social media posts of American citizens who don't like President Donald Trump are the focus of the latest U.S. military-funded research. The research, funded by the U.S. Army and co-authored by a researcher based at the West Point Military Academy, is part of a wider effort by the Trump administration to consolidate the U.S. military's role and influence on domestic intelligence.

The vast scale of this effort is reflected in a number of government social media surveillance patents granted this year, which relate to a spy program that the Trump administration outsourced to a private company last year. Experts interviewed by Motherboard say that the Pentagon's new technology research may have played a role in amendments this April to the Joint Chiefs of Staff homeland defense doctrine, which widen the Pentagon's role in providing intelligence for domestic "emergencies," including an "insurrection."

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