Defense Firm's Software Can Track You Online

Raytheon's 'Riot' program combs through social media

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 10, 2013 3:10 PM CST

(Newser) – Hope you haven't been kidding around about al-Qaeda on Facebook, because new software may have already spotted it. A Massachusetts-based security firm has secretly invented a program called Riot—or Rapid Information Overlay Technology—that can track people on social media and predict their future activities. The multi-billion-dollar company, Raytheon, didn't want its concept video revealed, but the Guardian posted it anyway.

The video shows how Riot works on a sample Raytheon staff member, tracking his regular visits to Washington Nationals Park and a local gym. "So if you ever did want to try to get hold of Nick, or maybe get hold of his laptop, you might want to visit the gym at 6am on a Monday," says an investigator. A spider diagram even tracks his relationships with other people online. Raytheon says it has showed Riot to the US government but insists it has no buyers yet. Records show, however, that the program's trade-control designation allows it to "be shipped without a license to most destinations under most circumstances."

A still from a video by the security firm Raytheon promoting its new software, Riot.
A still from a video by the security firm Raytheon promoting its new software, Riot.   (YouTube)
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Raytheon's video promoting its Riot software.   (YouTube)

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