2005-03-10

US-Milit�rgeheimdienstler will "Spionage-Blogs"

--- Dass Weblogs auch von Geheimdiensten gern gelesen werden, hatten wir bereits geh�rt. Neu ist, dass Kris Alexander, ein US-Reserve-Offizier im milit�rischen Nachrichtendienst, in Wired offen die Einrichtung von "Spionage-Blogs" fordert: Instead of embarking on an expensive and decades-long process of reform - the type loved by bureaucrats on Capitol Hill - the services can fix this themselves. There's no reason our nation's spy organizations can't leap�frog what the Army is already doing with Web technology and, at the same time, build upon what the public is doing with the blogosphere. Launched in 2001, Army Knowledge Online is Yahoo! for grunts. All the things that make life on the Net interesting and useful are on AKO. Every soldier has an account, and each unit has its own virtual workspace. Soldiers in my reserve unit are scattered throughout Texas, and we're physically together only once a month. AKO lets us stay linked around the clock. Another innovative program is the Center for Army Lessons Learned, basically an �berblog staffed by experts. Soldiers can post white papers on subjects ranging from social etiquette at Iraqi funerals to surviving convoy ambushes. A search for "improvised explosive device" yields more than 130 hits. The center's articles are vetted by the staff for accuracy and usefulness, and anyone in the Army can submit. Unfortunately, the intelligence community has not kept up with the Army. The 15 agencies of the community - ranging from the armed services to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency - maintain separate portals, separate data, and separate people. The bad guys exploit the gaps, and your safety is on the line. So if all us knuckle-draggers in the Army can use technology to make ourselves better, why can't all the big brains at Langley and Foggy Bottom do the same? The first step toward reform: Encourage blogging on Intelink. When I Google "Afghanistan blog" on the public Internet, I find 1.1 million entries and tons of useful information. But on Intelink there are no blogs. Imagine if the experts in every intelligence field were turned loose - all that's needed is some cheap software. It's not far-fetched to picture a top-secret CIA blog about al Qaeda, with postings from Navy Intelligence and the FBI, among others. Leave the bureaucratic infighting to the agency heads. Give good analysts good tools, and they'll deliver outstanding results. And why not tap the brainpower of the blogosphere as well? The intelligence community does a terrible job of looking outside itself for information. From journalists to academics and even educated amateurs - there are thousands of people who would be interested and willing to help. Imagine how much traffic an official CIA Iraq blog would attract. If intelligence organizations built a collaborative environment through blogs, they could quickly identify credible sources, develop a deep backfield of contributing analysts, and engage the world as a whole. How cool would it be to gain "trusted user" status on a CIA blog? Wir sind nat�rlich bereit.