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Journal SPAM: U.S. Spy Agency Mining MySpace, YouTube for "Intelligence" 7

Doug Naquin, Director of the DNI Open Source Center, which gathers unclassified "open source" intelligence from around the world is "exploring new media."

We have groups looking at what they call 'Citizens Media': people taking pictures with their cell phones and posting them on the Internet. Then there's Social Media, phenomena like MySpace and blogs.... A couple years back we identified Iranian blogs as a phenomenon worthy of more attention, about six months ahead of anybody else.

Mr. Naquin addressed the Central Intelligence Retirees' Association on October 3, 2007. The text of his remarks is available in a PDF from Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy.

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U.S. Spy Agency Mining MySpace, YouTube for "Intelligence"

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  • A lot of (and perhaps most?) intelligence material comes from public sources like newspapers, TV, and radio. I don't see the internet being any different. It's amazing what you can learn by observing photos of an area taken over time... that's remote sensing 101.
    • Indeed. Part of the idea of privacy is that private things, in fact, stay private.
      I'm shocked that anyone who thinks things through would be shocked by this kind of research.
      • ipsos custodes?
        • by rk ( 6314 ) *

          Oh, no, I'm not saying it's a bad thing reporting this, and people should be aware of it, by all means. It stands to reason, though, if you don't want your pictures and writings to be sliced and diced by gun-toting TLA organizations, posting them publicly on the internet is probably not the way to go.

          I am highly in favor of watchdogging all the appendages of government.

        • "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"
  • If they're looking for intelligence on MySpace or YouTube, boy are they looking in the wrong place. Arf arf!

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith