During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, CIA Director John Brennan was asked about reports that Twitter has not made the Dataminr analytics service available to U.S. intelligence agencies, but has made the service available to a Russian news outlet.
In response to questioning by committee member Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Brennan said, “It appears as though Dataminr was directed to not provide its service to the CIA Intelligence Community and so therefore, we need to be able to leverage other capabilities in order to make sure that we have the insight we need to protect this country.” He later said that he is “not going to dispute” the reports.
The Dataminr service monitors and categorizes tweets in real time. The service boasts an ability to monitor Twitter to detect situations such as gang incidents and threats to journalists.
When Cotton asked whether Russia’s government-owned media outlet Russia Today was a client of Dataminr noted, “I believe so, I’m not certain of that. But I don’t have any information that they have been excluded from their services.”