January 7, 2007

POINDEXTER, NOT CHENEY:

The Wikipedia way to better intelligence: Open-source information gathering can rival, if not surpass, the clandestine intelligence produced by government agencies. (Douglas Raymond and Paula Broadwell, 1/08/07, CS Monitor)

Advanced technology and Web-savvy citizenry now make it possible for open-source information gathering to rival, if not surpass, the clandestine intelligence produced by government agencies.

Indeed, open-source methods have already proved their worth in counterterrorism. Shortly after Sept. 11, Valdis Krebs, a security expert, re-created the structure and identities of the core Al Qaeda network using publicly available information accessed from the Internet. He started with two 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, who were identified from a photograph taken while they attended a meeting with known terrorists in Malaysia in 2000. By scanning public sources for information linking these suspects to others, he re-created the social network identifying all 19 hijackers and described their relationships to their coconspirators, including the identification of Mohammed Atta as the ringleader.


President Bush's faith that security is best served by government secrecy rather than public openness is one area where he demonstrates real short-sightedness.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 7, 2007 11:31 PM
Comments

The spooks recently created a cross-agency Wiki, or so the rumor says.

Posted by: Gideon at January 8, 2007 1:35 AM
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