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    Russia's most popular social network is VKontakte

    SocioSpyder: Why Pentagon Monitors Russian, Chinese Social Networks

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    The Pentagon wants to monitor Russia's most popular social network VKontakte, according to an announcement published on the US Federal Business Opportunities official website on Thursday.

    The publication says that the US wants to purchase special software capable of monitoring Russian and Chinese social media, including Russian social network VKontakte.

    SocioSpyder's Watching You

    The software is called SocioSpyder and was designed to collect information from networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+.

    The stated goal of the program is to help the intelligence agencies in preventing emergencies, terrorist activity and other incidents that require an immediate response.

    The software was created by Allied Associates International, an official contractor for US government and military orders.

    The program is sold only to law enforcement or intelligence agencies and allows analysts to track suspicious profiles in social networks. The software easily copies, downloads and stores data from social media and is capable of analyzing relationships between the users.

    The collected information — posts, tweets, images, videos or user profiles — is then examined by analysts with a deeper understanding of the content.

    New Target Aquired — Russia's VKontakte Social Network

    So far, the main targets of SocioSpyder have been Facebook and Twitter. The software daily monitors and analyzes the activity of about one billion Facebook users and half a billion Twitter messages. It extracts and organizes the data received by the program so that all the huge array of information is made available for analysts to study.

    Washington's request for the purchase of a new additional module of the program, specifically developed for the analysis of social networks in Russia and China, indicates that the module has already been created. The application could be used by the US intelligence anytime now, with the VKontakte social network being one of its main targets.

    VKontakte is a popular Russian social network, with about 443 million accounts,headquartered in St. Petersburg. The website is available in several languages, but is especially popular among Russian-speaking Internet users.

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