CIA Mines 'Rich' Content from Blogs; Policy-Makers Turn to Internet, Other Open Sources for Intelligence

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 19, 2006 | Go to article overview

CIA Mines 'Rich' Content from Blogs; Policy-Makers Turn to Internet, Other Open Sources for Intelligence


Byline: Bill Gertz, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Bush and U.S. policy-makers are receiving more intelligence from open sources such as Internet blogs and foreign newspapers than they previously did, senior intelligence officials said.

The new Open Source Center (OSC) at CIA headquarters recently stepped up data collection and analysis based on bloggers worldwide and is developing new methods to gauge the reliability of the content, said OSC Director Douglas J. Naquin.

"A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we're getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot about social perspectives and everything from what the general feeling is to ... people putting information on there that doesn't exist anywhere else," Mr. Naquin told The Washington Times.

Eliot A. Jardines, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for open source, said the amount of unclassified intelligence reaching Mr. Bush and senior policy-makers has increased as a result of the center's creation in November.

"We're certainly scoring a number of wins with our ultimate customer," said Mr. Jardines, who became the first high-level official in charge of the government's nonsecret intelligence in December.

"I can't get into detail of what, but I'll just say the amount of open source reporting that goes into the president's daily brief has gone up rather significantly," Mr. Jardines said. "There has been a real interest at the highest levels of our government, and we've been able to consistently deliver products that are on par with the rest of the intelligence community.

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CIA Mines 'Rich' Content from Blogs; Policy-Makers Turn to Internet, Other Open Sources for Intelligence
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