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November 28, 2005

CIA Blogs


Susan B. Glasser wrote in the November 25 Washington Post about the new new thing at the CIA and DNI (Director of National Intelligence) : bloggers.

From her article:

    ... The agency has started hosting Web logs with the latest information on topics including North Korean dictator Kim Il Jong's public visit to a military installation (his 38th this year) and the Burmese media's silence on a ministry reshuffling.

    The blogs are posted on an unclassified government–wide Web site, part of a rechristened CIA office for monitoring, translating and analyzing publicly available information called the DNI [Director for National Intelligence] Open Source Center.

    "Our definition of open source is anything that can be legally obtained," whether how–to–build–a–bomb manuals or inflammatory T–shirts.

    Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA's special bin Laden unit, said he had long believed that "90% of what you need to know comes from open–source intelligence."

    One outside expert who works with government intelligence agencies... and others noted that they often receive complaints from government officials who say they find out faster about new statements and video coming from Iraq insurgents such as Zarqawi through private services.

    While the center's Web site is unclassified and available across the government, at the moment it has just 6,500 users with active accounts.

    "The reluctance to use it is astounding to me," Scheuer said. "Nobody wants to go back in response to an assignment and say, 'Oh, my Open Source Center found this on a server in Belgium."


Prospective junior spies, before you try to have a look at the CIA blogs, reread the above: you have to be a registered user with an active U.S. government account to gain access.


Here's a link to the DNI/CIA's November 8 press release announcing the creation of the Open Source Center.

November 28, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Little off the topic, but did you catch Good Morning America today -- I was late to work as they were doing interviews with Goss and showing a 'behind the scenes' at the CIA.

Kinda cool even though its standard morning fluff. Well worth missing the first half hour of work...

Posted by: clif | Nov 29, 2005 9:26:10 AM

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