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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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  • 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.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson