Feeds

CIA 'Open Source Center' monitors Facebook, Twitter

And anything else that anyone can contribute to openly

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.