BlueJay helps police search tweets

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BlueJay, the “Law Enforcement Twitter Crime Scanner”, allows law enforcement agencies and corporations to view local tweets by providing them with geo-fenced, real-time access to all public tweets.

Thus, keeping track of any tweet containing #gunfire, #protest and #meth within their communities is now made easier.

A product of BrightPlanet, BlueJay enables police to enter a group of Twitter accounts, locations and keywords to scan up to 25-mile geofences. It then comes back with the matching tweets in real time. Users are allowed to create up to five geofences.

Tweets with GPS locations can even be plotted on a map. In addition, BlueJay can export databases of as many as 100,000 tweets.

Although it may seem to be a basic tool, BlueJay derives its power from its ability to access the “firehose” of tweets.

To search the Twitter world, users have three options: Twitter’s streaming API, Twitter’s search API or full firehose access from third party providers such as DataSift and GNIP.

BrightPlanet noted that while the first two options are free, they do have limitations. On the other hand, getting the firehose may require serious infrastructure as well as a paid Twitter contract, although it does provide all the relevant tweets available. BlueJay has partnered with firehose providers in order to provide this service.

Priced at US$150 per month, BlueJay can also be used to “monitor large public events, social unrest, gang communications, and criminally predicated individuals” as well as “identify potential witness and indicators for evidence.”

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