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December 03, 2006


Mike Abundo

While social intelligence can be a tool to save lives, I would caution against creating a paranoid blogosphere.


"While social intelligence can be a tool to save lives, I would caution against creating a paranoid blogosphere."

I'd say the blogosphere is already pretty durn paranoid - that's one of the things makes it so interesting and effective, the propensity to openly question dominant and accepted narratives.

As to the larger point, I agree entirely about the open-sourcing of intelligence. One of the best things that DoD has ever done in this context was opening up GPS to the public, a measure which has had positive consequences far beyond what the system was originally envisioned for. There are still many things that it's better to have restricted access for - e.g., Iraq's pre-1991 nuclear schematics - but there's also a lot of information that can be of great use to citizens, and the presumption ought to be towards openness rather than secrecy.

Paul DiPerna

Intellipedia is one step forward to address the larger issue of reforming the U.S. Intelligence Community culture. By what I've been learning the past few months, the wiki technology should improve information-sharing and transparency. Early reviews have been cautiously optimistic to enthusiastic.

By crazy coincidence of timing, this past Friday I had a brief article published in the Washington Examiner on this topic. Not out for self-promotion, but thought maybe something of interest to folks here:



I have a series of posts on this topic here


which ties in some of the work Ross Mayfield and JASON and others are doing in this space, more from a business perspective than a national security perspective. In both cases, decision making is decentralized and the amount of information is huge, so the concepts have a lot in common.

David Hume

Note also the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, located in the Public Health Agency of Canada. From its website at

"GPHIN is a secure, Internet-based "early warning" system that gathers preliminary reports of public health significance in seven languages on a real-time, 24/7 basis.

This unique, multilingual system gathers and disseminates relevant information on disease outbreaks and other public health events by monitoring global media sources such as news wires and web sites. The information is filtered for relevancy by an automated process, and then analyzed by Public Health Agency of Canada GPHIN officials. The output is categorized and made accessible to users. Notifications about public health events that may have serious public health consequences are immediately forwarded to users."

I believe Larry Brilliant said in a TED talk of his that GPHIN found SARS 6 weeks before the WHO did.

Amazing stuff, and makes me proud to be Canadian.

Business for sale

Yes wiki technology should improve information-sharing and transparency!!!!!

We are from http://www.worldbusinessforsale.com

Karl Schroeder

I've done some work around this; at last year's Prospective Protective Security Futures workshop in Ottawa, I proposed something I called "wiki-security". I expanded on the idea in the fiction piece I wrote for the conference proceedings, which you can read here on WorldChanging Canada.

We had found during the conference that current national security systems have a human bottleneck--not enough eyes. So the security experts themselves are seriously discussing this stuff.

Chris Crosby

This track is dead on. I've wondered how effective an open source multilingual version of "google alerts" would be at spotting keywords on websites and blogs around the world. With the vast array of bloggers arising globally we could create a more effective intelligence system than our own government's.

Greg Banville

Frankly, this apprears to be the best possible solution to the problem of modern national security needs.
Now if we just had more effective open networks for tracking, preventing and redressing violations of civil liberties by the government against individuals.

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