Intelligence and social media


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Lt. Col. Jason Brown of the U.S. Air Force presents information about intelligence and social media during a Department of Defense conference.

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Intelligence and social media

  1. 1. Intelligence and Social MediaLt Col Jason M. Brown, USAF<br />
  2. 2. Disclaimer<br />This briefing will discuss how the Intelligence Community uses social media for collaboration<br />These views are my own and may not represent those of the USAF, DoD, the Intelligence Community (IC), or my chain of command<br />This briefing is UNCLASSIFIED<br />
  3. 3. The Flat, Networked, New World<br /> “We are living in the middle of a remarkable increase in our ability to share, to cooperate with one another, and to take collective action, all outside the framework of traditional institutions and organizations.” <br /> - Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody<br />
  4. 4. Background<br />The direct connection between stateside analysts and forward-deployed troops has made significant contributions to battlefield successes in the last several years<br />Social media has played a big role in removing obstacles for analysts to share ideas and collaborate directly with others outside their organization<br />“Military Taps Social Networking Skills”<br />- NYT 7 June 2010<br />Warfighting is no longer a matter of geography…it’s a mentality.<br />
  5. 5. Socially-Networked Warfighters<br />Intelligence analysts and consumers are developing meaningful relationships using social media and other IT<br />Enables analysts to become problem-centric rather than source-centric<br />The “network” has become as valuable, if not more, than the sources<br />"This flag was flown over Khan Neshin Castle, Rig District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 5 May 2010 in honor of the DGS-2 crew by the Marines of 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion." <br /> Young Marines thanking young Airmen, whom they’ve never met (but are all Facebook friends by now)<br />
  6. 6. IC Social Media Programs<br />A-Space (Analytic Space)<br />“Facebook for Spies” - CNN<br />Virtual work environment that allows IC analysts to connect and collaborate<br />eChirp<br />Microblogging platform similar to Twitter<br />Situational awareness, alerts to breaking events, and time dominant collaboration<br />Intellipedia<br />Wiki used by the Intelligence, Defense, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, and Diplomatic Communities<br />eChirp<br />
  7. 7. A-Space<br />
  8. 8. Intelligence Transformation<br />FromTo<br />Finished Intelligence Living Intelligence<br />Coordinating Collaborating<br />Need to Know Need to Share<br />Requirements-focus Mission-focus<br />Production Problem-Solving<br />Single-sourced Crowd-sourced<br />Social Media and associated IT are critical enablers to the IC transformation<br />
  9. 9. Challenges<br />Analyst, operator, and consumer communities of interest are still primarily using social media 1.0 (IRC) to interact<br />Multiple networks with different classification levels are roadblocks<br />Many analysts using SM regard themselves as isolated adventurers in hostile terrain<br />SM use challenges linear processes and established business practices<br />Organizational “branding” is still pervasive<br />mIRC – First Gen Social Media<br />
  10. 10. Social Networking and Disaster Relief<br />Conversation with my all-source analysts after receiving word we would execute the first RQ-4 Global Hawk mission over Haiti…<br />Me: “You all need to reach out directly to the folks who will need support from this first Global Hawk mission.” <br />SrACherry: “We’ve already done that, Sir. We have over 700 ad hoc imagery requests lined up.” (50 is normal for a mission)<br />Me: “Where did you find 700 ad hocs????”<br />SrA Cherry: “Well, Sir, we chatted with some folks at AMC, the MEU, the Embassy, State Dept, the Navy, the airborne unit who’s heading there, the Coast Guard, AFSOC, my dad who works at USAID…oh and all the analysts here, of course.”<br />
  11. 11. All Partners Access Network<br />DoD Web 2.0 tool that integrates interagency, NGO & partner nation HA/DR efforts<br />Began as Asia- Pacific Access Network; SOUTHCOM adopted for Haiti<br />Supports HA/DR efforts and exercises world-wide<br />
  12. 12. APAN: Situation Updates<br />
  13. 13. APAN: Imagery<br />Haiti HA/DR showed unprecedented amount of declassified imagery including first unclass UAV video <br />
  14. 14. APAN: Collaboration<br />Sacre Coeur hospital, fully staffed and waiting for patients, posted it had additional capacity. JTF Haiti immediately sent 250 patients and medivac flights<br />Allowed NGOs to coordinate movement of supplies and personnel into Haiti<br />Informed U.S. forces of food/water needs at relief camps and surrounding areas<br />Guided search and rescue efforts to Caribbean Market based on SMS messages from trapped citizens to users who posted request for help <br />
  15. 15. Crisis Mapping<br />Uses crowdsourcing of social activism/citizen journalism and geospatial information to develop interactive maps<br />A citizen-derived “common operational picture”<br />Ushahidi mapping platform used in Haiti, Australia, Japan HA/DR and Egypt, Libya protests<br />
  16. 16. Crowdmaps<br /><ul><li>The upside – great resource for IC to contribute & receive HA/DR intel</li></ul>The downside – denial of service, unreliable sources & infiltrators<br />
  17. 17. Lessons from Disaster Relief 2.0<br />Recent crises have demonstrated how mobile technology and social media enable private citizens and organizations to effectively collect, analyze, and fuse open-source intelligence <br />“Every Soldier a Sensor” to “Every Citizen a Sensor”<br />Data that is unreliable, especially in life-and-death situations, is often worse than no data at all<br /><ul><li>How will intelligence organizations learn from and/or integrate into this new reality?</li></li></ul><li>The Challenge: Leading the Network<br />It Takes a Network: The New Frontline of Modern Warfare<br />“As we learned to build an effective network, we also learned that leading that network -- a diverse collection of organizations, personalities, and cultures -- is a daunting challenge in itself. That struggle remains a vital, untold chapter of the history of a global conflict that is still under way. “ <br /><ul><li>General Stanley McChrystal</li></ul>(Foreign Policy March/April 2011)<br />
  18. 18. Sources<br />NYT article -<br />APAN -<br />,<br />Facebook for Spies -<br />McChrystal FP article -<br />C4ISR Journal -<br />Air and Space Power Journal -<br />Intelink –<br />
  19. 19. Intelligence and Social MediaLt Col Jason M. Brown, USAF<br /><br />703-695-4246<br />Twitter: @collabsource<br />