State Dept goes sole-source route for intelligence work

The State Department has awarded a nearly $100 million sole-source contract to a company that will provide open source intelligence in areas that are ripe for terrorist activities.

IST Research will provide a variety of services to the State Department’s office that manages diplomatic security, threat investigations and analysis. Work will support the Rewards for Justice program, which offers rewards for information that disrupts terrorist activities.

IST will focus on so-called “social listening” by monitoring information channels that include both open sources and sources on the dark web. It also will monitor social networks. The idea is to get a sense of what people are saying in a particular areas that are considered “non-permissive environments.”

The company will establish tip lines to gather information from target audiences. The tip lines will be in local languages. They will triage tips, perform translations and analysis, then distribute what they have gathered.

The sole-source contract is worth $99 million over up to 10 years.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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