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Intelligence Agencies Turn To Crowdsourcing 41

An anonymous reader writes "IARPA — the sister agency to DARPA — is sponsoring researchers to examine crowdsourcing as a method to derive better intelligence predictions. This research will eventually be transitioned to the intelligence community to improve national intelligence estimates. From the article: 'Like Darpa, its better-known counterpart in the Pentagon, Iarpa funds far-out research ideas. However, Iarpa works on ideas that could eventually be used by the likes of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), rather than the military. “The goal that Iarpa has is to eventually transition this to the intelligence community, and use it for something like the National Intelligence Estimates,” says Jenn Carter, who works on the project.'"
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Intelligence Agencies Turn To Crowdsourcing

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  • First crowdsuorced 3d printed psot on the way to the singularitehEleventyOne!!!!

  • S.I.A.: Search for Intelligent Americans.

  • Really? Crowdsourcing from an agency that is supposed to keep secrets? I'm really not sure who this is going to be worse for; the agency for unwanted transparency or the citizenry because they are making it cheaper for others to violate their privacy.

    • You misunderstand the purpose of intelligence. It is to gather information that may be useful to the government and analyze it. Some of that information is secret. Some of it is speculative. Most comes from open sources and the only secret thing about it is what the analysts think its implications are for security.
  • by concealment ( 2447304 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @08:30AM (#41617985) Homepage Journal

    It seems to me that a majority of the cases overturned for bad evidence, especially death penalty cases, involve jailhouse informants, infiltrators, citizen reports, eye-witnesses and other HUMINT that may or may not be of value.

    When you set the bar to entry very low, such that just about anyone can fire up a computer and report someone else, you're going to see lots of spurious reports which are methods of personal revenge. Just like in the Salem Witch trials, or the Soviet Union, if you create an easy way to identify "bad" people and take their stuff, it will be abused.

    It's not surprising that giving police departments the power of seizure (and sale) had a similar effect. Busting rapists takes a second-tier to busting rich drug lords, because it's intelligent to ensure funding for your department first and later take on the non-paying cases.

    This isn't to say that crowdsourcing is "wrong" but that we should step carefully when we implement any open-to-the-public reporting program.

    • or the Soviet Union, if you create an easy way to identify "bad" people and take their stuff, it will be abused.

      For this precise reason, in Soviet Union that practice was abandoned since at least WWII. Of course, your friendly propaganda workers forgot to tell you that.

  • ".... It was also heavily criticized for its National Intelligence Estimate in 2002, which supported claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction...."

    So basically an idea to sell to the crowd that it is listening to their feedback. I doubt it. I am pretty sure that any intel agency with a budget is aware of most of the important stuff before we are.

    The BBC is touting some tripe as to what the people across the pond are doing? It seems more like a way to soften their failures in light of the agenda to pr

  • I wish Slashdot would turn to crowdsourcing for its headlines.

    From the article (and article summary), the IC isn't turning to crowdsourcing. An research agency funded a research grant to see if it's feasible for the IC to consider using crowdsourcing methods to improve the analytic cycle.

  • ...all the few who persist on warfare need to be constrained in some psychopathic mental institute not called government. Don't know about anyone else but I don't approve of my tax dollars being spent the way.

    • by 3seas ( 184403 )

      So in essence they want us to help them spy on us and we pay them for it? HUH?

  • Why am I suddenly thinking of "Citizen CIA" by the Dropkick Murphys?

    Yes, let's get a bunch of people to help them build something better to spy on us with.

  • If I wanted to blow something important up, or take down a web site, I would make absolutely sure that the prosess was untraceable as possible. Average people use the intenet and by and large, they have no plans to perform terrorists acts. If they do, they don't post these plans to their facebook accounts. I would like to just state this now: If I were planning any sort of cyber terrorism, real terrorism, you will not find any markers on my social networking accounts. You could only possibly discover such i
  • For a second there, I thought the title says they'd turned to cross dressing. That would've been more interesting than this article anyway. Let me know when they try that as a strategy - maybe it will be more effective than crowdsourcing.

  • Maybe they're finally starting to understand that??? Could it be??

  • My first thought, not having RFA: Does IARPA start with a capital i or a lower case L?

    LARPA might make more sense.


  • So.... life imitates art? Or at least thinks about it.

    Of course, Vernor Vinge's Vision of amateur intelligence assessments does indeed ignore the old adage that 98% of everything is crap. The internet pushes that number a good deal further. We're talking 5 nines of crap, here. By the time you've waded through all the crap generated by people whose tinfoil hats are too tight, you've spent more money than just paying a real agent.

    Still it's a good book. It was available as a free download from http://vri []

  • []
    The greatest threat facing the USA is the irony inherent in our current defense posture, like for example planning to use nuclear energy embodied in missiles to fight over oil fields that nuclear energy could replace. This irony arises in part because the USA's current security logic is still based on essentially 19th century and earlier (second millennium) thinking that becomes inappr

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous