Hot on the heels of our post earlier this week about corporate blog monitoring, the Washington Times reveals that the CIA is now tracking blogs and other ‘open source’ intelligence resources:
President Bush and U.S. policy-makers are receiving more intelligence from open sources such as Internet blogs and foreign newspapers than they previously did, senior intelligence officials said.
The new Open Source Center (OSC) at CIA headquarters recently stepped up data collection and analysis based on bloggers worldwide and is developing new methods to gauge the reliability of the content, said OSC Director Douglas J. Naquin.
“A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we’re getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot about social perspectives and everything from what the general feeling is to … people putting information on there that doesn’t exist anywhere else,” Mr. Naquin told The Washington Times.
I guess it should have been obvious to an educated reader that the CIA and other intelligence agencies were using resources like blogs for information, but apparantly some see this as part of a larger conspiracy:
Translation: Government is monitoring bloggers’ content and reporting information to local police as well as federal government agencies.
Or this little tidbit:
They canâ€™t be much less reliable than the CIA itself, which was clueless about 9/11 and WMDs in Iraq, just to mention a couple of recent fiascos. Maybe reading a few blogs will improve their performance.