This news article argues that “U.S. law enforcement agencies are a long way from being able to effectively track threats of the kind a gunman posted on Instagram before his execution-style murder of two New York City policemen last weekend.” Policy changes that could deter events like the above murder from occurring include increasing police data analytics capability, increasing the availability of mining software for law enforcement, and trained personnel to use the equipment to the fullest of its capacity. The downside to these recommendations are time, personnel, and budgetary constraints, as well as false-positives.
Some larger police agencies have investigated various software programs to detect threats. The LAPD had utilized PredPol to determine the time and location to optimize patrols. The LAPD is also considering Geofeedia, which mines location data from Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Flickr. Some law officials are concerned that these tool may infringe on privacy and other civil liberties.
See the full report at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/26/us-usa-police-socialmedia-idUSKBN0K40MD20141226
See PredPol at: http://www.predpol.com/
See Geofeedia at: http://geofeedia.com/