Category Archives: Intelligence

Russia possibly mapping underwater internet cables in Mediterranean

Approximately one year ago, the Russian navy caused quite a stir by hanging around internet cables in the Atlantic for some period of time. The accusation was the Russians were mapping the cables in o

Source: Russia possibly mapping underwater internet cables in Mediterranean



This Week BLOSINT Brief (WBB) contains the following information:

1. The Americans are smart enough to go forward with enhancing OSINT as Open Intelligence to the Academic field.

“U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Thursday that the committee has approved $1 million for open source intelligence and intelligence analysis at Sam Houston State University.
The bill is now ready to be considered by the full Senate.
“America’s military and intelligence services are constantly on guard for potential threats against our homeland,” Hutchison said.
SHSU will use the funding to expand open source intelligence collection and analysis efforts and training for Foreign Military Studies Office elements at the El Paso Intelligence Center.” Source: The Huntsville Item

2. MySpace is going on with Qizmt [kiz-mit]
“MySpace on Tuesday will release as open source a technology called Qizmtthat it developed in-house to mine and crunch massive amounts of data and generate friend recommendations in its social-networking site.
Qizmt is a distributed computation framework based on the MapReduce programming model for processing large data sets in processor clusters.” Source: PCWorld

3. The U.S. Intelligence Community and Foreign Policy: Getting It Right (a Brookings Institution report that makes a lot of good points, especially about the IC reducing its reliance on Classified sources) via IntelFusion

4. Robert Steele, the longtime proponent of a robust open source intelligence program, has a new web site which notably includes an archiveof intelligence-policy related documents, several of which I had missed.  The collection is accompanied by his own occasionally tart commentary. via Secrecy News

5. Intelligence Event: “Intelligence for the Twenty First Century. Intelligence for Everyone.” Madrid 22nd-23rd September 2009, Interligare 1st International Forum, via Public Intelligence Blog

Intellipedia goes on

Intellipedia, the intelligence community’s version of Wikipedia, hummed in the aftermath of the Iranian presidential election in June, with personnel at myriad government agencies updating a page dedicated to tracking the disputed results. Continue reading →

Open Source Web Based Geospatial Processing with OMAR

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

The availability of geospatial data sets is exploding. New satellites, aerial platforms, video feeds, global positioning system (GPS) tagged digital photos, and traditional geographic information system (GIS) information are dramatically increasing across the globe. These raw materials need to be dynamically processed, combined and correlated to generate value added information products to answer a wide range of questions. Continue reading →

Improving Intellipedia

On Sources and Methods it is a post about a video from YouTube about Intellipedia.

It’s about collaborative intelligence…

Dilemma Over Security at Electricite de France

Paris Dilemma Over Security at Electricite de France

Accusations of spying on Greenpeace have led to the suspension of two of EDF’s security executives. However, the group can’t turn a blind eye to movements that oppose it.

Source: IntelligenceOnline.Com /30/04/2009

Regardless of how it organizes its security service in future, France’s EDF group can’t overlook the critical function carried out at present by Pierre-Paul Francois (under formal investigation) and his immediate superior, former retired rear-admiral Pascal Durieux (a material witness in the case). Assigned to the security service of the group’s nuclear production division, the two have top secret government security clearance and their job consists mainly of preventing leaks of classified data. It was in that framework that they retained the services of Kargus Consultant headed by Thierry Lohro (also under investigation) to keep an eye on anti-nuclear movements. EDF has long monitored the NGO’s and other groups opposed to its business. Already in 1999, a Security Mission at the group’s industry center in the Paris suburb of St. Ouen was tasked with infiltrating eco-terrorist groups and building up a data base on anti-nuclear NGO’s and associations, as well as keeping tabs on the most outspoken members of unions. Headed at the time by a former director of a Nuclear Power Production Center, it employed a former commando from the 17th Regiment du Genie Parachutiste and an ex-gendarme who had headed an intelligence unit. The latter was also asked to see to the physical protection of nuclear installations. The unit was downgraded following the arrival of a new security boss of the group in 1999, Dominique Spinosi, who also retained a private strategy consultancy to conduct an audit of EDF’s security set-up. EDF’s current business intelligence unit, now under the orders of the group’s risk management director Pierre Beroux, was created as part of Spinosi’s department. Spinosi was replaced in 2007 by Jean-Marc Sabathe.

The Future Role of Business Intelligence within the Global Financial Community

“Depending on who you ask, there are 195 countries in the world today. While the majority of economic resources are controlled by a small, yet very powerful subset of global corporations and sovereign nations, the impact of their actions is felt by the entire world community. That the recent economic crisis was triggered by a variety of factors including faulty assumptions, greed, malfeasance, ineptitude, lack of oversight and a host of other causes is not surprising in retrospect.”

Source:  Michael Brooks –

Continue reading →

Visual Intelligence

I’m not sure but I think the processing phase is becoming visual intelligence in osint realm; in fact, the visual intell is much more…if we think the intell / osint cycle as a network process.

And, this post, from Sources and Methods, could be a start:

“One of the exercises we routinely assign in our Intelligence Communications and Intelligence Writing And Presentation classes is a “visual” short form analytic report.” and more…

Continue reading →

An Argument for Open Source Intelligence Secrecy


“There is altogether too much discussion about the deliverables that OSINT [open source intelligence] can produce,” said Jennifer Sims, a former State Department intelligence official, at a DNI conference on open source intelligence last week.

Open source intelligence refers to intelligence that is derived from unclassified, legally accessible information sources. Continue reading →

The “new” Open Source Intelligence and Silobreaker

The Tsunami that struck South Asia on December 26th 2004 was a wakeup call for the world in many aspects. Hurricane Katrina that struck New Orleans 8 months later was another. The crisis in Darfur is here and now. Continue reading →

Intell Definition

From Sources and Methods:


  • There is no standard definition of “intelligence”. Popular thinking and the best efforts of legislatures, agencies and academics to the contrary, no generally agreed upon definition of intelligence exists. This problem is exacerbated when the newly formed intelligence communities in law enforcement and the private sector are included. Continue reading →

About KPI in Public Organizations

This article in Information Week discusses an innovative idea by the State Department to use Business Intelligence software to establish key performance indicators for the effectiveness of its public diplomacy efforts.  (Source: IntelFusion)

Intell Analysis Methods

An interesting approach of intell analysis methods on Sources and Methods :

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: What Makes A Good Method?
Part 3: Bayesian Analysis (#5)
Part 4: Intelligence Preparation Of The Battlefield/Environment (#4)
Part 5: Social Network Analysis (#3)
Part 6: Multi-Criteria Decision Making Matrices/Multi-Criteria Intelligence Matrices (#2)

Continue reading →

CRS, What are the Benefits of an Office of Science and Technology Policy?

from ZIA

OSTP.jpgSecrecy News alerts us to a series of newly released Congressional Research Service reports related to national security policy. The leading report it of particular interest to the science and technology community, especially given the incessantObama transition chatter. The report is titled, “The President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy: Issues for Congress,” and it presents a thorough analysis of how the OSTP has been used, how it interacts with the executive, and its relationship with other S&T agencies (including the organizational chart of OSTP advisory councils, pictured at the right). Later in the report, however, CRS moves forward to consider how the future president might use the OSTP, asking the question: what are the pros and cons of having an OSTP at all? To that end, CRS comes to some very interesting conclusions:

From a presidential perspective, if the S&T adviser or presidential advisory committee is not committed to the President’s agenda and is not willing to represent the Administration’s perspective, the President may believe that high-level S&T advice will provide more harm than good. If the S&T adviser has a close relationship with the President, the S&T community may fear this will lead to the politicization of S&T and subvert the S&T adviser’s ability to provide independent advice. A historical review of presidential S&T activities since the F.D. Roosevelt Administration illustrates that a presidential S&T adviser or advisory committee may be placed in a challenging position when a difference in opinion exists between the President and the majority of the S&T community. The result may be dismissal or marginalization of S&T consideration from the White House inner circle.

This jumped off the page to me, because by definition the OSTP should be committed to the promotion of good science, rather than the political ends of the President. CRS continues by presenting the alternative, which is that, “an S&T adviser who understands these sensitivities may be an asset to the Administration, providing confidential advice privately and speaking authoritatively on S&T-related issues for the Administration publically.” While these sensitives would certainly be an asset to the adviser, I shudder to think of the trade-off between political maneuvering and the promotion of a legitimate national security research agenda.

Photo: CRS

Ushahidi Deploys In The DRC

From War & Health :  Ten months ago, War & Health discussed a little known, but promising, project called Ushahidi. Born from the 2007/2008 electoral violence in Kenya, Ushahidi is a new way to report and gain low-level, real-time intelligence in crisis zones. Today, Ushahidi, in partnership with some NGOs, took a big step forward and deployed their system in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a nutshell, Ushahidi allows individuals to report instances of violence, looting, and other incidents via  local SMS messages. The report is then displayed on a web-based map using the Ushahidi engine. A more detailed explanation is offered in the diagram below:


I am a strong supporter of Ushahidi and I believe it will become a standard part of any humanitarian’s toolkit. That said, the project still has work to do. Presently, while the project is an innovative technological tool, it has yet to be connected with the interests of the policy folks. How well Ushahidi’s crowdsourcing methods mesh with the operations of NGOs? Of international peacekeepers? Does the project offer a value-added service to existing local health information networks? What is the potential for armed groups to exploit Ushahidi’s crowdsourced design? How best can the raw information collected be converted into reliable and actionable intelligence? In the coming weeks, War & Health will publish a series of articles looking at Ushahidi from a political science / policy perspective. Stay tuned.

Commercial satellites alter global security

WASHINGTON — The secretive National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is rushing to get the latest, high-definition satellite photos of Afghanistan into the hands of U.S. ground troops as they ramp up operations in the country’s tangled terrain.

OSINT project assigned to students

College students get plenty of assignments, but this one was different.

It came from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as a challenge to think tanks, security companies, collegiate teams and veterans of the U.S. intelligence community. Continue reading →

ThreatsWatch: Relevant discussion about OSINT

From Open source intelligence (OSINT) is, for lack of a universally-accepted formal definition, information of value that you don’t have to steal with spies or technical means.

Continue reading →

Stratfor Analysis integrated into iThreat(R) GIM

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov 02, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Internet Crimes Group, Inc. (ICG) announced today that reports from international affairs intelligence company, Stratfor, will be integrated into ICG’s iThreat(R) Global Intelligence Monitor open source intelligence product.

Top Five National Security Research Challenges/Opportunites for the Next Adminstration

From ZIA – “These are merely a reflection of my own opinions and biases, and I welcome additional suggestions in the comments or e-mail.

  1. Quantum Cryptography – Quantum computing will completely change all aspects of information technology; however, its deepest consequence for national security could be in cryptography. Continue reading →