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Information Gathering in Intelligence Agencies

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This is a short presentation at my Information Management class

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Information Gathering in Intelligence Agencies

  1. 1. Information Gathering in Intelligence Agencies Norazlinda Binte Abdul Rahim [email_address] “ THE REASON THE ENLIGHTENED PRINCE AND THE WISE GENERAL CONQUER THE ENEMY. . .AND THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS SURPASS THOSE OF ORDINARY MEN IS FOREKNOWLEDGE. FOREKNOWLEDGE. . .MUST BE OBTAINED FROM MEN WHO KNOW THE ENEMY SITUATION.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War 500 BC
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Information & Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Differences Between Intelligence & Information </li></ul><ul><li>The Intelligence Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Information Gathering from Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Finished Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions & Recommendations </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction to Information Science in Intelligence Agencies <ul><li>Failure to share information between the United States agencies led up to the 9/11 attacks (Hamilton, 2005). </li></ul><ul><li>Collection and sharing of timely intelligence information is critical to prevent threats. </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship between information science and intelligence work is scarcely documented due to the involvement of classified information (Williams, 2005) . </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence does not necessarily equate to accurate or relevant information only but also includes the process of collection, analysis and usage. </li></ul><ul><li>Burke (1994), in a rare study done on the relationship between the information profession and the secrecy during World War II and the Cold War, manifested the historical automated approach to information retrieval. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Information & Intelligence <ul><li>Information and intelligence are terms which occur synonymously. </li></ul><ul><li>However, not all collated from multiple sources could lead to valuable intelligence. </li></ul><ul><li>The term “information” provides different meaning for individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Information behaviour is defined as human behaviour with respect to information sources and channel and includes both information seeking and usage (Wilson, 2000) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Definition of Information <ul><li>Buckland (1991) identified “information” as a “process”, “knowledge” and “thing”. </li></ul><ul><li>2.1.1 Information-as-process </li></ul><ul><li>- The act of informing and becoming informed. </li></ul><ul><li>2.1.2 Information-as-knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Information that is being communicated is intangible. Communication involves specific fact or data of which an individual is being made aware of and at times, knowledge reduces uncertainties. </li></ul><ul><li>2.1.3 Information-as-thing </li></ul><ul><li>Information-as-thing is the physical objects of information such as data and documents. These objects are referred to because of their informative nature. This information is considered abstract and is not directly measurable. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Definition of Intelligence <ul><li>Many authorities define “intelligence” as “information (Warner, 2005). </li></ul><ul><li>CIA’s senior analyst, Sherman Kent, defined “intelligence” as knowledge to safeguard the national welfare and sovereignty. </li></ul><ul><li>Lyman Kirkpatrick, a CIA officer, argues that intelligence is knowledge sought with respect to external threats and measures to protect vital interests. </li></ul><ul><li>The Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms of US Joint Chiefs of Staff has two definitions for “intelligence”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Intelligence is the product from collection, processing, integration, analysis, evaluation and interpretation of information on foreign areas.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ intelligence as information and knowledge obtained from several analysis and understanding .” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Differences Between Intelligence & Information <ul><li>Most individuals have the perceptions that intelligence and information are interchangeable. </li></ul><ul><li>Lowenthal (2002) highlighted that intelligence is the “carrying out of operations”. </li></ul><ul><li>Shulsky (2002) emphasized that intelligence activities are conducted in secrecy and it is the factor that distinguishes intelligence from other information activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence is based on a cycle which continuously collects and analyses information. This cycle consists of authenticating the information received or gathered, linking the information available to other data, developing a hypothesis and using the hypothesis to achieve a goal or further review. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Intelligence Cycle Figure 1. The Intelligence Cycle (Central Intelligence Agency, 2007) includes the identifying of relevant data or threats to enable the delivery of the intelligence end product to the policy makers collecting raw and unassessed information from variety of sources information is then converted into a form instrumental to the intelligence analysts. raw information is assessed by analysts. Analysts combine fragments of information from different sources into intelligible reports. distribution of the end-product to the policymakers marks the attainment of the finished intelligence
  9. 9. Information Gathering from Sources Table 4 Intelligence Production Resources
  10. 10. Finished Intelligence <ul><li>5.1 Current Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>encompasses all aspects that needs immediate attention and provides updates of daily events. Current Intelligence alerts end users on potential threats and allows the formulation of early measures. </li></ul><ul><li>5.2 Estimative intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>narrows the information gaps of end users and provides an estimate of possible events. Analysts assessed the information and conclude the alternatives patterns that are derived from the raw information. </li></ul><ul><li>5.3 Warning Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>identifies and forecast the events that could trigger military involvement or a negative impact on foreign relations. Analysts provide alternatives on different probable events and suggest other methods to the end users. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>5.4 Research Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Basic Intelligence and Operational Intelligence are two narrow categories of Research Intelligence. involves the core intelligence on foreign countries such as the military and demographic intelligence. Operational support intelligence encompasses all aspect of research in which the end users are presented with the operational details such as the information on the foreign military bases. Research Intelligence involve a thorough understanding and study of a particular subject and support the intelligence gathered for basic and estimative intelligence. </li></ul><ul><li>5.5 Scientific and Technical Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>information such as the development of foreign technologies. The claims by certain countries of having the ability to launch nuclear weapons test could trigger an immediate demand for scientific and technical information. This intelligence covers a broad range of subjects from weapon systems to integrated operations. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Conclusions <ul><li>The functions of “Information Management” are obvious in the governmental intelligence agencies and processes such as information gathering and information sources are apparent. The collection steps of information such as having an information strategy and information sources denotes the assimilation. </li></ul><ul><li>The similarities between the government and intelligence agencies can be clearly seen in the “Intelligence Cycle”. Government and business intelligence analysts are dependent on the flow of information in the respective organizations. The information gathered is used to meet and satisfy information needs and monitor of developments in the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Although information is greatly involved in intelligence collection, secrecy is core element of any intelligence activities. The use of technologies such as imagery equipments to capture satellite photographs emphasized the importance of technology in all aspects of our daily lives. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Recommendations <ul><li>The great abundance of information available provides an information overload environment for any analyst. It is highly recommended that the basics of information retrieval such as indexing, tagging and search capabilities are deployed and adhered in all organization especially in intelligence agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>A deep understanding of Information Science enables analysts and intelligence processors in providing a timely and accurate intelligence to the end users. Intelligence is vital to policymakers especially in the war of counter-terrorism. </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally, intelligence analysts are domain experts with knowledge of information science. The infusion of information science into the intelligence agencies could provide benefits and thus reduces pressures on the analysts. </li></ul><ul><li>The US has set precedents for others by declassifying and documenting the intelligence processes. However, not many countries have follow and it is highly recommended that other nations adopt the precedents. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Questions or Feedback? </li></ul>

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