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Confirmed: CIA using Bloggers for Intel Gathering

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posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 11:05 PM
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Today I came across a very interesting article By Susan B. Glasser

The article says that under the guise of the War on Terror, the CIA via DNI have set up public domain blog sites as a fishing & gathering operation.



The CIA now has its own bloggers

December 11, 2005
The agency has started hosting weblogs with the latest information on topics including North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il's public visit to a military installation and the Burmese media's silence on a ministry reshuffle.

The blogs are posted on an unclassified, government-wide website, part of a rechristened CIA office for monitoring, translating and analysing publicly available information, called the DNI Open Source Centre.

Even before the Open Source Centre officially opened it had added a video database that makes its archives available online, and rolled out an upgraded website with blogs and homepages on topics such as Osama bin Laden, Iraq insurgency leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, China and bird flu.


The article is interesting enough to do a bit of research. So I noted that the DNI was hosting the project and started looking into it. In one Google query to the DNI site, I found what I think are the blog sites mentioned.

The image below is the google results of what I think are the CIA blog sites. Note the red arrow.



Here are the links to the sites listed in the image above.
The last link is one of the most interesting to me.
Shadows.com
Shadows.com 2
Blogpulse.com Trends
Blogpulse.com Conversations

If these are indeed the blogs in question, then I see several problems.
It seems that they have displayed poor tradecraft. (I shouldn't have found the blogs that they use, not that easily anyway.)
Also their sites appear rather amateurish to me. In addition, because I have found them, I can now datamine them for the latest information.

I've spent enough time on this, so I will let you address the other considerations, like legal, ethical, moral, freedoms, etc.

More reference for the original article in case the other is "unavailable"
CIA Now Has its own Bloggers
Google Search CIA has its own bloggers
Washington Post

[edit on 12/11/05 by makeitso]




posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 11:16 PM
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I think saying that it's "confirmed" is dubious at best. There are so many far better, more efficient ways to gather intelligence than this it seems rediculous that they would be going this route.



posted on Dec, 11 2005 @ 11:36 PM
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Originally posted by Bripe Klmun
I think saying that it's "confirmed" is dubious at best.


I respect your opinion, and I did consider removing the word confirmed. However, I feel that if you take the time to go thru the links, and actually read their blogs, you will also feel that it is confirmed. So I left it.





Originally posted by Bripe Klmun
There are so many far better, more efficient ways to gather intelligence than this it seems rediculous that they would be going this route.


Perhaps so. But one of the links in my post pointed out that they have a mandate to monitor all public media since 1941.



The CIA now has its own bloggers
Today's Open Source Center began life as the Foreign Broadcast Information Service -- FBIS to insiders -- in 1941, when it was charged with monitoring publicly available media and translating it.


It also goes on to point out that one of the reasons they are now doing this.


This expert and others noted 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.





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