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Classified Wiki For U.S. Intelligence Community 184

CortoMaltese noted that the U.S. intelligence community has unveiled their own classified wiki, the Intellipedia. Reuters says "The office of U.S. intelligence czar John Negroponte announced Intellipedia, which allows intelligence analysts and other officials to collaboratively add and edit content on the government's classified Intelink Web much like its more famous namesake on the World Wide Web. A 'top secret' Intellipedia system, currently available to the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, has grown to more than 28,000 pages and 3,600 registered users since its introduction on April 17. Less restrictive versions exist for 'secret' and 'sensitive but unclassified' material." For kicks, you can also read about Intellipedia on Wikipedia."
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Classified Wiki For U.S. Intelligence Community

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  • So how long until its accuracy is disputed over things like WMD in Iraq and it is forked by a high ranking officer who goes away and starts Intellendium to be run by supposedly more reliable intelligence analysts?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Xserv ( 909355 )
      Do you think some of that would really be an issue. You could probably add a rating system or something for "more trusted" sources to have a higher priority on an update.

      You have to admit that this is a good move for the intelligence community as a whole. ANY way for them to share a COMMON source of information is productive. Wasn't one of the main problems suspected behind the 9/11 committee's findings that there WASN'T enough communication and interoperability between branches of the intelligence sects
      • As I understand it, that was by design, not by mistake. The CIA isn't supposed to handle domestic problems, and the FBI isn't usually supposed to be involved in international issues. I think they're supposed to work together where they overlap (say, if someone the CIA was tracking comes into the country, they're supposed to work with the FBI, but it's the FBI's territory at that point). This was all to keep a little separation between the departments so you don't have one massive one that controls everyt
    • Any system can be slanted to suit a paticular view.

      aside from the parrot wmd jab, why are our intelligence services so political anymore? When did this start? the late 60s and early 70s perhaps (vietnam etc) or did it become so after the mccarthy era?

      then again, if any of the contributers to intellipedia read and post on /. the number of WMD will be zero.
    • by Mercano ( 826132 )
      The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. You can help Intellipedia by spinning this article or replacing it with the administration's position on the topic.
    • by Amouth ( 879122 )
      i has the same thought.. but more importantly.

      has the population of terrorists increased 300% in the past year??
  • They should have had something like this years ago. The goverment takes far too long to adopt new technology in vital areas.
    • by interiot ( 50685 )
      Erm, a lot of companies, even those who who deal primarily with knowledge and who have internal communications issues, haven't embraced wikis. So either wikis aren't effective, or they're a bit out of the mainstream, and it's taking everyone a bit of time to recognize their value (you mean... anyone outside my department can edit these pages?? Is there a way to prevent that?)
    • by thePig ( 964303 )
      In my view, these are some areas which can provide a security nightmare.
      Think of spies - One spy gets into a high security clearance position, he has a complete list of all information, for which he might had to work for (or ask sub-ordinates) to obtain, in his fingertips.

      I know they would have thought about it and provided adequate security for the same, but even then this is a little worrying developement.
      • by SnowZero ( 92219 )
        On the other hand, an electronic version such as this can easily log every page you've ever looked at. That's more difficult with paper. If done right, with the appropriate security compartmentalization, this could work very well for them; Let's just hope they listened to the NSA when designing it.
        • by thePig ( 964303 )
          I agree.
          But, wouldn't most of the people be interested in what is going on around the world, and go through most of the pages?
          I know, I would. I regularly read wiki (for 1-2 hrs per day at the least) on most of the areas which I am remotely interested in.

          And higher security clearance means that person is able - and able people do try to get in more information that others.

          Not that these spies wont have such information otherwise, but this makes it much easier.
          Also, the spy, who would have just contributed o
    • The government is off to a great start on skynet.

      This, the repeal of Habius, Posse Comitatus, and amending the Insurrection Act all pave the way for a power grab unlike the world has ever seen.

      Do you really think the government can be trusted not to abuse this system? Now one mistake in one file allows everyone from the White House to the cop down the street will allow them to arrest you because your name is in a shared system you can't access.

      There should be a wall between the feds and the police. We're
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      If the government shifted gears everytime a new technology came out, it would cost 25 times more money then it does now.

      I think it is a good thing to look at the technology and see if it is going to work.
      Plus, they needed to make change to incorporate there own features.

  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @10:51AM (#16672649) Homepage Journal
    ...that the number of WMDs has tripled in the past six months?
    • Reference: []
      • 1.77 metric tons of uranium -- certainly raw materials for WMDs, but not actual WMDs. How quickly convertible to fuel for A-Bombs dependent on sophistication of secretly constructed at Tuwaitha.
      • 1,000 (items of) radioactive materials -- definitely at least some WMDs.
      • The "Polish 17 chemical weapons -- definitely WMDs.
      • The Mosul Chem Lab -- inconclusive, straining credulity that none of Saddam's chemical weapons ever passed though there.
      • The Sarin Shell -- definitely a WMD.
      • The Mustar
      • The issue is not whether Saddam attempted to gain WMDs in the 1980s, it was whether he was still attempting to do so and whether he represented the most significant threat to the US at the time of the invasion.

        Clearly he did not and the diversion of troops, logistics from Afghanistan and the failure to conclude that campaign successfully before embarking on an ill-planed and ill-judged adventure has seriously harmed US interests, US prestige and US security.

        The choice that we now face is whether the Mid

      • by Wavicle ( 181176 )
        Gosh, so many lies, how does one find the time?

        1.77 metric tons of uranium... Well, near as anyone can tell this uranium was enriched to the point of usefulness for a reactor, but not for a fissile weapon. Not just any uranium is useful for a weapon. But come on, if you're going to play the pathetic "oh could have been for a dirty bomb" card, you should have played it with this. That uranium would be thousands of times easier to put in a dirty bomb than to enrich it for a nuclear weapon.

        1,000 items of radio
    • "the number of WMDs has tripled in the past six months?"

      Really? Wonder if they'll be smuggling them inside elephants.
  • This Is A Good Thing (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This is what we need more than any new stealth fighter jet in this post-9/11 world. Better Human intelligence and analysis and collaboration tools is necessary to win this Global War on Terror. We must find and kill them before they can try to kill us.

    9/11 happened because we couldn't get different agencies and intelligence communities to work together. This sounds like something useful to prevent the next big suicide attack on the US.

    • by x2A ( 858210 )
      What's with this "post 9/11 world"? Surely, it was what you needed PRE 9/11.

      "We must find and kill them before they can try to kill us"

      Yes, everyone will agree with you once you've killed everyone who doesn't. It's a good job threats from the US don't put other countries on the defensive, and doesn't make people want to fight back.

      Believe it or not, there are people out there with valid grievances about the way America conducts its business. Killing them doesn't make Americas actions, which their grievancie
    • by mnmn ( 145599 )
      Hmm I wonder what the article on me says in the Intellipedia. I'd be really interested to make a few changes there.

      Next will be insurance, credit, crime and health pedia.

      More seriously, I think shared stores of information online have always existed in these departments, its only now they're calling it 'pedia' just as they're calling websites with text 'blogs' now.
    • 9/11 happened because we couldn't get different agencies and intelligence communities to work together.

      If by "different intelligence agencies" you mean, for instance, the FBI and the FBI (no, that's not a typo), you are correct.

      9/11 happened, despite things that should have been caught by the government, because existing intelligence and law enforcement agencies didn't effectively use the information and legal authority they had. Blaming it on poor coordination is largely a way to avoid any personal account

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rtb61 ( 674572 )
      Well 'er' yeah, you want to gaurantee safety, so that nobody ever commits a crime, they already had a solution for that. It was called MAD, mutually assured destruction, nuke the whole world, kill everybody and problem solved. Law has always been and will always be about, catching and prosecuting people who have commited a crime, after is has been proven in court that they commited the crime.

      Anything else is just a plot to assume as much power as possible for as few people as possible, and especially taki

  • Sounds like someone Dave Chappelle made up for one of his skits.
  • Need to Know (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EnderGT ( 916132 ) <{endergt2k} {at} {}> on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @10:54AM (#16672703)
    When deciding whether or not to reveal classified information to someone, there are 3 things to examine:

    1. Clearance - Has the person been cleared to know this information
    2. Access - Has the person been given access to this information by the party responsible for the information (in the US DoD, signed SF 312)
    3. Need to Know - Does the person really need to know this information

    This seems like they're skipping steps 2 and 3 all together. Now anyone with clearance can find out anything they want? Seems fishy to me...

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      SIPRnet contains a wide variety of resources that people with an access to do not necessarily have "need to know." If you do not have "need to know," it is expected that you will not look for it.

      Its a compromise between keeping the information locked in a safe and having humans judge it, then shipping it by federal carrier after judging whether you specifically have "need to know" and expediency of access to that information.

      If anything is judged "too sensitive," then it is kept behind either a login or a
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There are two major types of failures with intelligence agencies (aside from bad data). One is the wrong people finding out important information. The other is the right people NOT finding out important information. I think the US intelligence community has traditonally erred on the side of too little information sharing (the right hand not knowing what the left is doing) rather than too much. With the speed of execution of threats against us, by the time an agency can demonstrate a "need" to know, it may b
      • Re:Need to Know (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @11:49AM (#16673571) Homepage Journal
        More importantly, with the change in our threats has come a change in where the threats come from. When the "big bad guy" was the Soviets, we had to assume that they had paid off at least some strategic people in every agency, or possibly even had plants, that allowed them some access to data that should otherwise be protected by our security clearance and secure data handing procedures. Because of this, it was very necessary to keep everyone as compartmentalized as possible, even though this is far from optimal when trying to organize the efforts of thousands of analysts and field operatives.

        Modern day threats are different. Al-Quieda probably doesn't have a vast network of spies gaining access to our intelligence serivices, so it makes sense to open up the internal communication a bit to allow our own intelligence workers to be more efficient. While it does make a compromise that much more painful, the advantages gained through the information sharing probably outweigh the risks.
        • When the "big bad guy" was the Soviets, we had to assume that they had paid off at least some strategic people in every agency, or possibly even had plants, that allowed them some access to data that should otherwise be protected by our security clearance and secure data handing procedures.

          That makes sense. I recently read an SF book that had a more extreme version of that notion as a key subplot. The situation was alien mechanized probes attacking the earth, and much of the research on countering the

        • Modern day threats are different. Al-Quieda probably doesn't have a vast network of spies gaining access to our intelligence serivices, so it makes sense to open up the internal communication a bit to allow our own intelligence workers to be more efficient.

          You talk like Al-Qaeda is the only modern day threat.

          Instead of a lengthy criticism of the rest of your post, I'll just point out that once you remove the assumption that "Al-Qaeda = the only modern day threat," the rest of your supporting statements don'

          • by jandrese ( 485 )
            You're acting like they're going to post all information they have on the Wiki. Clearly you only post information for threats that aren't likely to have a shot at looking at it. I don't think you'll be seeing Chinese information on it for instance.
    • by RingDev ( 879105 )
      Yes and no. Do you need to know everyone with in two degrees of separation from your target? Probably not. But if the vast majority of know intrest groups and persons of intrest are in a wiki like system, a script could generate a listing of all associations and individuals within two degrees of the target. And with any such system it is only as useful as the data it contains. The more data it contains, the more associations, and the more accurate the patterns, that can be determined. In order to get that k
    • They don't seem to be skipping #2 at all. They still require access to get onto the network on which the information is held, which requires a clearance.
    • You are assuming you know the classification level of the information in the Intelliwiki, when you do not. All that is known is that the system is classified to the extent that the public is not allowed to see it.

      Without evidence to the contrary, there is no reason to assume that SCI or SSBI-level information is there for anyone with "confidential" clearance to see.
    • by SnowZero ( 92219 )
      Regarding "Access", there's no reason they can't apply security at the granularity of categories; i.e. analyst X is only allowed access to items about Afghanistan and Pakistan, and won't be allowed to look up things on China or Russia. You can push that as far as you want in terms of compartmentalization to make it as fine as needed. The traditional paperwork for access to documents becomes paperwork for getting the access keys, so that can still be there. "Need to Know" is harder to model, but I'd expec
    • This seems like they're skipping steps 2 and 3 all together. Now anyone with clearance can find out anything they want? Seems fishy to me...

      Except that every hit will be logged - providing a trail as well as data that could be mined to see who is looking at what and flag suspicious use. hell, that's better than a paper system where you really don't know who looks at what and where it's hard to connect the dots that someone is looking in multiple areas for information.

      Hmm, Analyst xx looked at 10 articles o
    • You also need to have access to JWICS (for the TS/SCI version) or SIPRNET (The Secret version). A person having a clearance doesn't mean they have access to either of those networks, and having access to either of those networks doesn't mean you have access to everything on the networks.
      • by r00t ( 33219 )
        I'd think you'd need a separate wiki for each compartment/project/codeword.

        Anything less and somebody needs to go to jail.
    • by dangerz ( 540904 )
      Right, I was just wondering the same thing. Even if they have access roles in place, are these roles secure enough to make sure that someone that doesn't need to see the top speed of Fighter X can't?
    • Not really. I have a friend in the Air Force who has access to Intellinet; she told me about it a few months ago, but based on my own experience with the military making things happen, I doubt much has changed.

      Intellinet eliminates the need for this three-step security process in an extremely elegant way. First, even if you've been given clearance and access, your login and password usually don't work. People with an actual need to know have to use somebody else's login information. Second, once you g

    • "Need to know" is a rather amphormous concept. Half the time in research (which is what intelligence analysis is - a specialised form of applied research) you don't know you need to know something until after you know it. Ergo, if you keep all your data locked up in vaults, mistakes will be made that could have been avoided if the intelligence agency had been a little less paranoid about secrecy.

      Furthermore, a lot of the data that intelligence agencies use for analysis comes from open sources - reading fo

  • by mgblst ( 80109 )
    ...and login details pleass??

    I would love to see what they have on this. I wonder if they use it to track individuals, each agecny adding their own knowledge. Could be useful.

    On another issue, I wonder if these Agencies have really adopted a mandate to co-operate. It is really in their interests not too, and claim the glory themselves. Even when they fail, they just blame it on lack of funds, and get more money.
  • by mogrify ( 828588 )
    This makes so much sense, I can hardly believe they're actually doing it. A properly wielded wiki is the perfect tool for this problem.
    • by x2A ( 858210 )
      Could be, providing a tagging system. For example, any persons names that appear in a page should be tagged as a persons name. Transcriptions of telephone calls could be tagged as such, with the date/time etc. Would make automated cross referencing, building structured queries, more fruitful.

  • by ( 67146 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @10:55AM (#16672729) Homepage
    What we are seeing here is the emerging winner in the knowledge base software category. Wiki's are able to harness the power of being fully distributed in content creation. Anyone can contribute, correct, and read the data. Also they are not shackled with structured meta data requirements so that the content collection/creation is far easier than other systems. They rely on FULL TEXT search to find the knowledge held within, and this suits perfectly well with a user based trained, by Google, in how to construct meaningful keyword based searches.
    • by TopShelf ( 92521 )
      And best yet, it probably didn't require hundreds of millions of dollars, multiple revisions over a number of years, and an endless line of bloodsucking leeches (err... consulting firms) to implement.
  • We have met the enemy, and he is us!
  • Hope it hasn't been developped by Diebold.
  • (cur) (last) 02:09, 27 October 2006 CIALuvR (Talk | contribs) (rm unsourced edit -- no proof CIA did that)
    (cur) (last) 01:31, 24 October 2006 DodDude(Talk | contribs) (added pt a/b selling drugs in inner city)
  • Block log

    From Intellipedia, the classified encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    Unblock a user, or view the list of active blocks.

    This is a log of user-block/unblock actions. Auto-blocked IP addresses are not listed here. See the IP block list for the list of currently operational blocks. See Intellipedia talk:Block log for discussion. Note that the "User" field is case-sensitive.

    View (previous 50) (next 50) (20 | 50 | 100 | 250 | 500).
    • 03:06, 31 October 2006 AgentSmith (Talk
  • by Keyslapper ( 852034 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @10:59AM (#16672795)
    In order to log on, you must be situated at a specially designed workstation equipped with a Cone of Silence ...

    But really, if it's so top secret, how come the whole world knows about it?

    Geez, now, everybody's going to want one. I can see it now, there'll be an Al' Qaedapedia next.
    • by x2A ( 858210 )
      "But really, if it's so top secret, how come the whole world knows about it?"

      I know the pentagon exists, but I don't know what's written on all of the documents within it. I think that's the important bit.

    • Al' Qaedapedia

      Article | Discussion | Edit this page | + | History | Move | Watch

      Talk:Future Plans

      Contents [hide]
      1 Added possible plot
      2 Page needs cleanup

      Added possible plot
      I added the "underwear bomber" idea. The shoes thing worked, let's see if we can get them to take off their underwear at the airport! - AlMusari 10:14, Oct 14, 2006 (UTC)

      Page needs cleanup
      IMHO, we need to clean up this page to better organize our thoughts. Please complete the entries for future plans with specific information about partic
    • by Cyno ( 85911 )
      I'm just amused the first thing you think of in relation to the Pentagon and this supposed "intelligence" wiki and community is Al' Qaeda. Or is it Al' Qaeda in Iraq(tm)? ;)

    • by kabocox ( 199019 )
      But really, if it's so top secret, how come the whole world knows about it?
      Geez, now, everybody's going to want one. I can see it now, there'll be an Al' Qaedapedia next.

      It's a wiki. I can't get excited by them any more. I think it's a good idea and will be useful for those that need to access it for intel. The first thing that I thought of when you said that everyone will want one is that they'll make wiki-rumor-pedia. Forget the standards of wikipedia, if its a rumor or you just want to do a community blo
  • "This document needs to be cleaned up to conform to wikipedia standards. Please add sources."

    -- 3.2003 entry on Iraq weapons of mass distruction.

    Intelligence officer with fief to protect: "Lame." ::Revert::
  • The nice thing about Intellopedia is that it's easy to see a history of all changes. For instance, check out this document from the Intellopedia based upon the UN's mid 1990's estimate of their capabilities. You can see all the changes made by the CIA (deletions on sep lines, adds in bold) prior to our Executive branch using it as a pretext for war:

    Iraq, an evil empire, is a country of

    highly educated people

    vast oil fields ruled ruthlessly by Saddam Hussein. Since the first Gulf war,

    the various e

    • by x2A ( 858210 )
      Yeah but you know they're gonna try distract everyone by pointing out Clintons revisions to whether he had sexual relations with "that woman".

  • On a platter? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ParraCida ( 1018494 )
    I'm not sure how the intelligence community usually handles their information sharing between agencies and members, but this seems a rather easy target.

    One database with thousands of user accounts, remotely accessible, each account has full viewing access, the information is displayed in an easy to copy format ready to be picked clean by a single compromised account. One key logger, one leak, one vulnerability and it's all gone, that to me seems rather risky.

    Now like I said, I don't know if it would
    • Have you ever set up a wiki before? You can use mediawiki to set who can view what(mostly using namespaces) so if you are smart about not everything is viewable to everyone. Not to mention being open source allows them to modify their code. And who ever said a wiki had to be remotely accessible? If an agent needs info on the run you can just make a pdf and encrypt it, otherwise the wiki would be as secure as everything else in their network. Finally, who ever said anything about "one database" In the
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by XdevXnull ( 905214 )
      You have to take into account that this thing is running on the government's ultra classified private network. It is absolutely NOT accessible from ANY Internet based node or router. The network is totally (read: physically) separate from the Internet that you and I use. Only specific secured computers can log in at all.
  • Well, this should make it much easier on the adminstration whenever they don't like an intelligence report. Now they can just click "Edit" and change it to what they want it to say.

    sig withheld by request
    • Well, this should make it much easier on the adminstration whenever they don't like an intelligence report. Now they can just click "Edit" and change it to what they want it to say.

      Excellent lack of getting it! Try again once you understand the differences between intel, analysis thereof, and briefings for policy makers based on those two things.
  • classified intelligence mistake #1
  • How, exactly, can one "unveil" a classified, secret project?
    • by rk ( 6314 ) *

      "How, exactly, can one 'unveil' a classified, secret project?"

      I don't know how it works, but I used to get messages all the time like "Gaia's Stepdaughters have begun a secret project called 'The Self-Aware Colony'" and stuff like that. Maybe I just had good probe teams, and occasionally I was planetary governor.

    • How, exactly, can one "unveil" a classified, secret project?

      Easy: they're hypocrites, you oxymoron.
  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @11:17AM (#16673081) Journal
    .. is which pages have had to be locked due to vandalism?
  • Would only take one infection of some PC to start broadcasting content . Just what we need.
    • Machines with clearance to view this are not allowed to be connected to the public internet. Only other machines with similar clearance would receive those broadcasts.
      • by nurb432 ( 527695 )
        And the rules are *always* followed, arent they.
        • DoD computer stuff is taken pretty seriously, as I beleive there are criminal penalties attached to screwing it up, as well as being evicted from your sweet spot at the government teat.
        • What, you're holding out for a security policy that's still effective even when it's disregarded? Good luck with that.
  • With much the same caveats that apply to the regular Wikipedia: that is, insofar as the information is linked to more regularly generated and reviewed source documents (in this case, though, classified ones), and if people in the community use it as a tool to get basic info on conclusions of the intelligence community, but go to the source information when its critical to get a good understanding.

    It has the risk, though, like Wikipedia that people will use it without going to the source information, when th
  • where Mohammad Reza Aghaei Laghaei [] can dwell.
  • The authoritative source on US foreign policy that anyone can edit!

    Which really explains a lot...

  • "For kicks, you can also read about Intellipedia on Wikipedia."

    I think I'd rather read about Wikipedia on Intellipedia. :-)

I've got a bad feeling about this.