U.S. spies are looking increasingly online for intelligence and they've become major consumers of social media.
By Thomas Claburn
February 6, 2008
In keeping with its mandate to gather intelligence, the CIA is watching YouTube.
U.S. spies, now under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), are looking increasingly online for intelligence; they have become major consumers of social media.
In November 2005, the OSC subsumed the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service, which housed the agency's foreign media analysts. The OSC is responsible for collecting and analyzing public information, including Internet content.
Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists project on government secrey, posted transcript of Naquin's remarks on his blog. "I found the speech interesting and thoughtful," he said in an e-mail. "I would not have thought of YouTube as an obvious source of intelligence, but I think it's a good sign that the Open Source Center is looking at it, and at other new media."
Not everyone in the intelligence community sees the value in open source intelligence.
But further acceptance of open source intelligence, of the Internet and social media, seems inevitable in the intelligence community if only because traditional media is becoming less relevant.
Despite its name the Open Source Center hasn't proven to be particularly open with its findings.