A contract solicitation posted a week ago says that the Army is looking for a contractor to keep an eye on the Internet for possible threats to U.S. interests and forces.
"The purpose of the services will be to identify and assess stated and implied threat, antipathy, unrest, and other contextual data relating to selected Internet domains," the solicitation says. "The contractor will prioritize foreign language domains that relate to specific areas of concern."
The job involves monitoring and analyzing Web pages, blogs, chat rooms, and the like that may be of interest to the U.S. government.
The task, as the Army sees it, isn't very big -- a handful of guys should do it. "The contractor will include a principle cyber investigator, a locally specialized threat analyst, a foreign speaking analyst with cyber investigative skills, and a constant watch team," the solicitation says.
This iTeam, for lack of a better term, is to provide a written report every week to the designated Army contact. In the event of an imminent threat, the iTeam is to phone or e-mail immediately.
It's not immediately clear whether the Army's Internet watcher will share information with other government agencies that are also known to follow online happenings.
In addition to online monitoring, the U.S. Army is speeding up delivery of advanced rockets, robots and ultra-light drones to infantry units in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a reshaped $160 billion modernization program.