Bigger Still Isn’t Better

the $40 billion a year intel bureaucracy was not delivering much of value

In Iraq, a hodge podge of geeks and reservists (many of them cops or corporate “competitive intelligence” specialists) came up with lots of new ideas about how to collect, analyze and distribute intelligence. This was usually done at the divisional or brigade level, although some battalions, and even infantry companies, have come up with their own innovations. It was innovations like this that led to the capture of Saddam Hussein, and many prominent terrorists….

The combat troops also have an immediate incentive to make their intel operations work. If they don’t, they, or people they know, could get killed.

Too bad this type of incentive doesn’t exist in the private sector.

Satellight Imagery

FOXNews reports that the US Department of Homeland Security will begin to share spy satellite data with domestic law enforcement agencies next year. The article pointed out that getting the data isn’t the end of the story – to be meaningful, someone somewhere has to analyze it and local law enforcement does not typically have this capability. Analysts across the intelligence community are swamped with data from foreign surveillance, and they may have little time for doing the analysis for law enforcement agencies.

US launches ‘MySpace for spies’

The Financial Times reports that the intelligence community within the United States government sees more use to social networking sites than just recruitment. The government is trying to improve inter-agency communication that plagued it before the 9/11 attacks, the paper reports that, “Thomas Fingar, the deputy director of national intelligence for analysis, believes the common workspace – a kind of ‘MySpace for analysts’ – will generate better analysis by breaking down firewalls across the traditionally stove-piped intelligence community.”

According to this article, the government expects to deploy the social network – named “A-Space” – to all of its intelligence agencies by December. Its sad that we can’t observe how it functions.