Feeds

CIA 'Open Source Center' monitors Facebook, Twitter

And anything else that anyone can contribute to openly

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The CIA has opened the kimono on its Virginia-based Open Source Center, where a team known as the "vengeful librarians" pore over Facebook, Twitter, internet chat rooms, and any other overseas forum that anyone can access and contribute to openly, the Associated Press reports.

With hundreds of analysts, the team is charged with monitoring the pulse of various regions outside the US, from Thailand during the recent riots, to Pakistan and China following the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Its analysis is incorporated into President Barack Obama's daily intelligence briefing almost every day. The Open Source Center was set up in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission as a way to improve counterterrorism and counterproliferation strategies.

The focus on social media started after watching how Iranian protestors used Twitter to bypass government censorship during the Green Revolution of 2009. Since then, Web 2.0 sites have been regularly followed by analysts armed with master's degrees in library science and the ability to speak local languages of the regions they're monitoring.

Many of the dispatches made over Twitter and Facebook lack accuracy, so the vengeful librarians have devised ways to vet reliable contributors to separate them from those who can't be trusted. The team frequently cross references online claims with news reports or even clandestinely intercepted phone conversations.

When media coverage slowed to a trickle during the recent riots in Bangkok, team members analyzed the updates of a dozen Twitter and Facebook users to determine who among them was providing reliable information.

The AP has more here. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.