ICE issues tender for online threat monitoring including biometrics to protect leadership and staff
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is seeking social media and online threat monitoring and facial biometrics to protect its top officials against threats of violence, Quartz reports.
A request for bids by the agency states that an increasing number of online and social media posts threatening attacks against its senior leaders, personnel and facilities. Real-time threat mitigating and monitoring services are sought in order to protect them. There are 115 ICE employees and facilities at risk, according to the solicitation.
As threats are monitored, ICE would also like to know who is making them. The agency seeks “(f)acial recognition capabilities that could take a photograph of a subject and search the internet to find all relevant information associated with the subject that will help identify any individual making a threat and help cross reference the individual across multiple platforms.”
Quartz notes that an Associated Press article says the agency is facing unprecedented criticism for enforcing the U.S. administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy. The article also reports that ICE employees have been threatened at their residences and doxed (had personal information published online).
The bid document specifies three tiers of monitoring capabilities sought. Tier 1 covers at least 12 members of ICE leadership, Tier 2 services are meant to provide general protection for at least 100 ICE employees and facilities, and Tier 3 is intended to monitor threats against at least 15 specific targets as requested by ICE OPR (Office of Professional Responsibility). ICE says at least 127 of its employees or places have been threatened.
Online monitoring is expected to include proactive monitoring, sentiment analysis, psychological profiling, threat aggregation, and other analytical capabilities.
Quartz reports a pair of instances when people were arrested for threatening ICE agents, but says such prosecutions are rare.
A pair of states recently began considering legislation to block ICE’s access to state driver’s license records for biometric searches.