APHIS Data Mining: Will HSUS Sub Corp End Up Spying?

Want to bet *who* made up this new requirement to gather “DATA” on “suspected” people or groups? Or are they just changing vendors? Will this encourage more raids and charges of $3million for bunnies? Will it ever be safe to list ANYTHING online to sell? Did you know Ebay Classifieds works with HSUS or claims to do so? Go look at it. We did.

[PD—-What is needed is an online site which will not give out any breeder-seller contacts and which is privately run with heavy security registration and Internet privacy in place so that minimal data can be seen. This would force someone to manually set up a sting operation and HSUS would probably do it anyway to try and catch people—but that takes manual work which is not free. The Craigslist flaggers do it but they cannot usually access all the private data. Also we became aware of ATM card hacking and cell phone hacking and “pairing” cell phones locally. Beware if you have your pairing turned off as there is a system that can turn it on or something and you have no privacy. We use encrypted email and cell phone malware programs are out there.]

INTERNET DATA MINING RFP
>>Solicitation Number: AG-6395A-S-12- 0035
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
>>>Location: Administrative Services Division/Purchasing

Background
The USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Animal Care (AC),
has a new requirement for Internet Data Mining Services to gather information
from a variety of Internet sites in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)
and Horse Protection Act (HPA), for the enforcement of basic standards of care
and treatment of regulated animals for commercial sale, used in research and
transported commercially, or exhibited to the public in the United States.
https://www. fbo.gov/index? s=opportunity& mode=form& id=32bd1af59684e 333790b21abc656c a0b&tab=core& _cview=0

>>>Excerpt:

PART I –   STATEMENT OF WORK
Internet Data Monitoring

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS), Animal Care (AC), Riverdale, MD, has a requirement
for a contractor to provide internet surveillance/ data mining for individuals
that are conducting Animal Welfare Act or Horse Protection Act regulated
activities domestically within the United States.

A.  BACKGROUND
Animal Care is charged with enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Horse
Protection Act (HPA).  The AWA requires that basic standards of care and
treatment be provided for regulated animals for commercial sale, used in
research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public. Individuals who
operate facilities in these categories must provide their animals with adequate
care and treatment in the areas of housing, handling, sanitation, nutrition,
water, veterinary care, and protection from extreme weather and temperatures.

The HPA prohibits horses subjected to a practice called soring from
participating in shows, sales, exhibitions, or auctions.  Soring is a cruel and
abusive practice used to accentuate a horse’s gait. It may be accomplished by
irritating or blistering a horse’s forelegs through the application of chemicals
such as mustard oil or the use of mechanical devices. The HPA also prohibits
drivers from transporting sored horses to or from any of these events. APHIS
works actively with the horse industry to protect against such abuse and ensure
that only sound and healthy horses participate in shows.

USDA, APHIS, Animal Care personnel need to monitor, collect and manage 
information from Internet sites for regulated activities throughout the United 
States. We require the expertise of an industry that utilizes technological
advancements that can search the broad universe of Internet sources for
information on individuals that are conducting regulated activities.

This project is to be designed to evaluate vendor’s Internet Search Engine
functionalities, user interface, and data to ensure that the data meets the
Animal Care program needs.  The results of the 6 month initial pilot project
will determine the feasibility of extending the contract.

B. OBJECTIVES

The vendor shall create modules that shall monitor regulated activities. The
module shall provide identification, categorization and analysis of Web sites to
identify persons suspected of conducting regulated activities without the
required license or registration or illegal activities involving horse shows,
sales, exhibitions, or auctions. The jurisdiction of the AWA and HPA are
confined to the United States and its territories, so these modules shall only
search for these criteria that occur in the United States.
The regulated activities to monitor are grouped into the following seven
modules:
1)      Sales of animals used as pets (all warm blooded animals)
2)      Sales of wild and exotic animals
3)      Animals exhibited to the public for compensation
4)      Animals used for research, teaching, testing, and experimentation
5)      Commercial transportation of animals
6)      Horse shows, sales, exhibitions, and auctions (such as Tennessee Walking
Horses)
7)      Animal auctions

During the initial 6 months period of this contract, the vendor shall monitor
two of the predetermined modules above, Sales of animal used as pets; and Horse
shows, sales, exhibitions and auctions. After evaluation of the services
provided, subsequent modules may be added contingent upon the success of the
pilot project, not to exceed the modules listed above. For each module, the
contractor shall work with Animal Care personnel to identify the search
parameters needed to accomplish each of the modules above.

C.  CONTRACTOR TASKS AND DELIVERABLES

Project Management: The Contractor shall assign a Project Manager for this
initiative to oversee the development of the project, ensure the timely
accomplishment of each task and provide the Contracting Officer Technical
Representative (COTR) with a contractor point of contact for this contract.
A.    Tasks
The tasks to be accomplished shall include:
1)      During the initial 6 months pilot project period of this contract, the
contractor shall focus on individuals or businesses engaged in the Sale of
Animals Used as Pets; and Horse shows, sales, exhibitions, and auctions.

2)       The contractor shall use their data mining and search engine
capabilities to scan the entire Internet for businesses or individuals suspected
of conducting AWA or HPA regulated activities without the required license or
registration or illegal activities involving horse shows, sales, exhibitions, or
auctions within the domestic United States and its territories.

THE SCAN SHALL
BE VIA INTERNET WEB TECHNOLOGY SEARCH ENGINE TOOLS,                                                                       NOT A HUMAN BEING. The
Internet sources include, but are not limited to:

>>>·         Global Domain Registrations
>>>·         World Wide Web
>>>·         Social Networking Web Sites
>>>·         Web logs (Blogs)
>>>·         IRC/Chat conversations
>>>·         Message Boards
Public email groups and discussion forums
Usenet Data
>>>·         Auctions – eBay.com and Yahoo.com  Auctions

>>>3)      The Contractor shall collaborate with AC personnel to establish the
appropriate search criteria for the identifying individuals or businesses
engaged in the Sale of Animals Used as Pets; and Horse shows, sales,
exhibitions, and auctions. The contractor shall promptly notify AC if there are

4)      The Contractor shall meet with AC officials to                                           discuss search criterion
in person, by telephone conference call or webinar.                                         No travel costs for
contractors are covered under this contract.

5)      The Contractor shall make search data from the Sale of Animals Used as
Pets; and Horse shows, sales, exhibitions, and auctions modules accessible
online to the government via a Web Portal Display.  The portal is made up of the
following components:

Dashboard to monitor activity across multiple solutions and users
>>>·         Case management system
>>>·         Message center
>>>·         Permissions- based user access
>>>·         Ad-hoc query access to client-specific data
Ad-hoc query access to Vendor’s database of registered Domain Names

6)      Contractor Intelligence Analysts shall review the pool of suspected data
>>>items generated by the Internet search tool to identify relevant data from the
>>>Internet.  Contractor Intelligence Analysts shall summarize the findings as well
>>>as highlight the highest priority data according to agreed-upon criteria. The
>>>summary shall be delivered monthly via email and to the case management system
>>>of the Web Portal Display.

7)      The Web Portal Display system shall be fully configured within fifteen
(15) business days from receipt of the required Government’s data. The first
data from the module shall be available to the Government within thirty days
(30) from system configuration .
8)      The Contractor shall provide training on Web Portal Display system for
reviewing of reports or search results to the COTR or alternate and AC
>>>personnel. Sessions shall be conducted via webinar.

9)      Contractor shall provide a “help desk†option, where assistance can be
>>>found if questions arise from the reports or search results.

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2 thoughts on “APHIS Data Mining: Will HSUS Sub Corp End Up Spying?

  1. Just listening to Fox News. This is illegal without a search warrant so says Judge Neopolitano. I would certainly wonder if in fact it is illegal..

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