Intelligence: MySpace At War


September11, 2008:  Like many American corporations, the U.S. intelligence establishment has been nearly as quick to adapt new information based technologies. Last year, the U.S. government bought search software from Google (basically the same stuff used to run the popular Google search engine) for internal networks. The government has also brought in Wikipedia software, and now is installing a classified MySpace as well.

The CIA, NSA and Department of Defense use these internal networks for closed (cut off from the Internet) systems that hold classified information, and allow espionage and intelligence personnel to more quickly find, and share, information. The data is generally displayed in formats familiar (and basically identical to) to what Internet users use. Thus intelligence and military personnel (with the right security clearances) can use and update classified data without any additional training.

 Over the last decade, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies found that Google search and the Wikipedia formats are increasingly popular with their staff and analysts. Thus using Google, MySpace and wiki type software was the easiest way to build a more efficient data storage and retrieval system. The only downside is that the data is only available at buildings wired to use the  special networks, and hooked up to a cabled (not wireless) network. The internal Google and Wikipedia are already in use, and the internal MySpace (relabeled "A Space") goes live on September 22nd, and will be available to personnel from all sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies (including the CIA, NSA, FBI, DIA and so on.)

The intelligence community realizes that these new tools create more powerful ways to handle data among large number of people. It's a major advantage that the leadership of these intel organizations realized this and acted on it.


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