Saturday, April 30, 2005

ANALYSIS: Spying and the Internet

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More often than not, the analyst today lives in the rarified air of the classified world -- of human spies and satellite imagery and signals. However, the analyst needs and must fit classified information into an open-source context for it to truly make sense. Moreover, his client the policymaker lives in the real world of so-called "open-source" information. Policymakers must and do develop their own "open-source" information systems through friends, colleagues, advocates and opponents, as well as the usual news sources. The limits on analysts receiving open-source information are often bogged in arcane matters of security -- we don't want "them" to know what we are looking at -- and old technology that does not allow the analyst to access state of the art translation capabilities for news sources and databases world wide. What open intelligence he receives is often a result of his own haphazard research limited by security concerns and language capabilities. This simply is unacceptable in this day and age.

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