Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Open source intelligence and social software

The waves from the intelligence-wikipedia "Intellipedia" has traveled far and wide in the internet world, with blogs monitoring the development of how intelligence agencies alledgedly use collaborative software - just like all the kids out on the 2.0 web.

Now Clive Thompson has written a comprehensive article on the US intelligence community's use of social software like blogs and wikis.

The problems that the intel-community face looks very much like the driving prospects of the information society: an amock-running amount of information, stemming from the possibilities of self-publishing along with a pluralistic break-down of traditional information souvreignty, understood as the possibility to control information and determine importance in information and events.

While large knowledge organisations battle to keep a hold of this Tasman devil of information, their employees as private citizens are froliciking in the warm waves of user-made information. By decentralising and individualising - in effect de-bureaucratising - the large organisations might be able to rein in information. But the cost seems to be their unity of command and effort.

Intelligence agencies are especially interesting examples of this double movement between processes and chaos, as they deal with a far greater security of information. Or in the words of thermodynamics: Intel agencies are ideally separated from the outside world by a semi-permeable boundary that allows all relevant information to filter in, but none to filter out. However the problem is that the formula for the boundary is hard to set and the evolution of the information society after the Cold War has petrified the intelligence services' boundaries into cement.

The article highlights a lot of the relevant problems in integrating OSINT and social software in intelligence work, but also highlights that this IS the future, nay, the reality of intelligence today. Thanks to Niels for the link.



Post a Comment

<< Home