BPD considering purchase of social media monitoring technology

BOSTON — Boston Police are looking at new tools to help them patrol the Internet and social media and some are concerned over privacy rights.

The technology would help the department monitor social media more effectively for potential public safety issues like terrorism.

The ACLU of Massachusetts criticized the large amount of public money being spent without any “public conversation.”

“It's a peculiar way for a "community policing" oriented department to spend so much money and will chill online freedom of speech and association. That's unacceptable in a free society. The ACLU will continue to follow the issue closely,” said the ACLU.

The ALCU said the cost was $1.4 million; Boston Police Department said that the technology looks at information that is already publicly available and that it will be “used in accordance to strict policies and procedures and within the parameters of state and federal laws.”

Boston Police said that it would help them from everything to terrorism to gang activity to prostitution.

People in downtown Boston Saturday had mixed feelings about the technology.

“If you have nothing to hide it shouldn't be much of a problem but I understand people's concerns about privacy,” said Mario Martinez of Trindad.

"At some point, it's invading the privacy but the other hand it is security," said Filipa Loureiro.

The city has not made a final decision on whether or not to purchase the software. FOX25 does not know when they will.

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