7/31 Wikileaks: Context & Targets, Effects & Intentions


16 Jun 2010 ... Pentagon decries bleak views on Afghan war. www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65E3AT20100616
Petraeus collapses, doubts grow over Afghan war effort ... Obama near tripling of US forces in Afghanistan needs to bolster his case to the U.S. public. Perceptions of a struggling U.S. campaign have been fueled by stronger-than-expected Taliban resistance in the southern district of Marjah -- meant to be a showcase of U.S. strategy -- and a slower start to a long-awaited offensive in the Taliban's birthplace of Kandahar. A massive military operation in Kandahar is the linchpin of Obama's campaign to turn the tide in the war this year and will weigh heavily in a review of strategy. Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, said media reporting about "the so-called delay in the Kandahar campaign has been overplayed."

21 Jun 2010 Shots mark US envoy's Afghan visit ... By Matthew Green in Marjah ... www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b96a3caa-7d50-11df-a0f5-00144feabdc0.html
Volleys of gunfire greeted Richard Holbrooke, US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, as he landed in the Afghan town of Marjah to assess progress in key phase of the west's campaign against the Taliban. The presence of insurgents in the vicinity of a meeting attended by top US officials underscored the difficulty US marines have faced in securing Marjah...deliberately staged attacks to coincide with Mr Holbrooke's visit as part of a broader campaign...Cameron, the UK prime minister, was forced to cancel a planned visit to British troops at a base elsewhere in Helmand province after...

24 July 2010 Lowering Expectations for the War in Afghanistan by Mark Thompson, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1912483,00.html#ixzz0ueryF...
[A] 28-page study titled "The Afghanistan Campaign: Can We Win?," by military expert Anthony Cordesman... released July 22 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS] Washington-based think tank... run by John Hamre, former Pentagon deputy secretary, serves as chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, which advises Gates on national-security issues pulls no punches. "The situation has deteriorated into a crisis where the Taliban and other jihadist movements are now winning"...

Two political sides of the issue: WIKILEAKS Intentions & U.S. RESPONSE

The US approved leaks according to 7/27/10 PBS Newshour interview with Guardian Investigations editor David Leigh and ex-NYT Alex Jones Laurence M. Lombard Lecturer in the Press and Public Policy, Director Shorenstein Center, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Leigh said the Guardian went to Brussels and convinced Assange not to dump unfiltered reports on wikileaks but to let the Guardian, which promised to share the docs with the NYT and Der Spiegel - all of whom would 'independently' vet the material and put it in perspective.
Alex Jones emphasized the extraordinary efforts all three took, including going to the white house - which 'didn't ask them to to not publish'.

World's #1 national security state has no problem 'locating' anyone it wants for targeted assassinations with CYBERCOM, 'war on the net', ubiquitous datamining, surveillance and increasing information control in partnership with private corporate partners, like a good fascist state - microsoft, google, social-networking co.s [more below].

Whatever Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's political positions and intentions, by handing the docs. over to imperialist guardians to 'vet' and 'contextualize' the leaks are putty being used to serve the U.S. war agenda. Assange opposes secrecy, but to my knowledge has never publicly opposed the system that requires secrecy to cover its state terrorist crimes. There is unconfirmed evidence that Assange is connected to US soft power forces led by George Soros. If that is true, it puts Assange's 'populist intelligence agency" squarely in the enemy camp - intentionally or not.

Afghan, Pakistan Leaders Warned by U.S. in Advance of Leaked War Documents
Afghan, Pakistani and Indian officials received advance notice from the U.S. that media in the U.S. and Europe were about to publish leaked American military documents about the war in Afghanistan, State Department Spokesman Philip J. Crowley said.Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari were briefed by the U.S. ambassadors in their countries, and senior Pakistani officials met two nights ago with Admiral Michael Mullen, the top U.S. military commander, Crowley told reporters today in Washington.“We wanted to make sure they understood the context under which these documents would be released, that this was the result of a leak of classified documents, not sanctioned, authorized by the United States government,” Crowley said. “The briefing was, in fact, to help them understand that this represents a crime and that we are investigating it.” The leak won’t affect U.S. relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan or their relations with each other, Crowley said... Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton met with Afghan and Pakistani leaders last week.

Pakistan Spy Service Aids Insurgents, Reports Assert
25 Jul 2010 www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/world/asia/26isi.html
A trove of military documents made public on Sunday by an organization called WikiLeaks reflects deep suspicions among American officials that Pakistan’s military spy service has for years guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants.

Piecing Together the Reports, and Deciding What to Publish
Published: July 25, 2010
The New York Times, The Guardian newspaper in London, and the German magazine Der Spiegel were given access to the material several weeks ago. The articles published today are based on thousands of United States military incident and intelligence reports — records of engagements, mishaps, intelligence on enemy activity and other events from the war in Afghanistan — that were made public on Sunday on the Internet. The documents — some 92,000 individual reports in all — were made available to The Times and the European news organizations by WikiLeaks...on the condition that the papers not report on the data until July 25, when WikiLeaks said it intended to post the material on the Internet. WikiLeaks did not reveal where it obtained the material. WikiLeaks was not involved in the news organizations’ research, reporting, analysis and writing. The Times spent about a month mining the data for disclosures and patterns, verifying and cross-checking with other information sources, and preparing the articles that are published today. The three news organizations agreed to publish their articles simultaneously, but each prepared its own articles.
Deciding whether to publish secret information is always difficult, and after weighing the risks and public interest, we sometimes chose not to publish. But there are times when the information is of significant public interest, and this is one of those times. The documents illuminate the extraordinary difficulty of what the United States and its allies have undertaken in a way that other accounts have not.
Most of the incident reports are marked “secret,” a relatively low level of classification. The Times has taken care not to publish information that would harm national security interests. The Times and the other news organizations agreed at the outset that we would not disclose — either in our articles or any of our online supplementary material — anything that was likely to put lives at risk or jeopardize military or antiterrorist operations... We have avoided anything that might compromise American or allied intelligence-gathering methods... We have not linked to the archives of raw material. At the request of the White House, The Times also urged WikiLeaks to withhold any harmful material from its Web site.

Text From a Selection of the Secret Dispatches
Below are a selection of the reports from a six-year archive of classified military documents to be published by WikiLeaks. These examples provide an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan. Some documents suggest that the Pakistani military and its spy agency have been unspoken allies of the Afghan insurgency. Some names and details have been redacted by The Times to conceal suspects' identities, or because they might put people in danger or reveal key tactical military capabilities. See below for more details on the redactions.

NYT defends publishing leaked military records
By Michael Calderone
New York Times Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet told The Upshot Sunday night ...“I did in fact go the White House and lay out for them what we had ... to give them the opportunity to comment and react. They did. They also praised us for the way we handled it, for giving them a chance to discuss it, and for handling the information with care. And for being responsible.. the White House did not ask the paper to hold off from publishing... it was clear to them, in our conversations, that we were handling it with care”... “Deciding whether to publish secret information is always difficult, and after weighing the risks and public interest, we sometimes chose not to publish,” the [NYT] editors wrote. “But there are times when the information is of significant public interest, and this is one of those times,” the editors' note continues. “The documents illuminate the extraordinary difficulty of what the United States and its allies have undertaken in a way that other accounts have not.

NYT EDITORIAL Pakistan’s Double Game
...Most of the WikiLeaks documents...confirm a picture of Pakistani double-dealing that has been building for years. On a trip to Pakistan last October, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested that officials in the Pakistani government knew where Al Qaeda leaders were hiding. Gen. David Petraeus, the new top military commander in Afghanistan, recently acknowledged longstanding ties between Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, known as the ISI, and the “bad guys.”
The Times’s report of the new documents suggests the collusion goes even deeper, that representatives of the ISI have worked with the Taliban to organize networks of militants to fight American soldiers in Afghanistan and hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders.The article painted a chilling picture of the activities of Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul of Pakistan, who ran the ISI from 1987 to 1989, when the agency and the C.I.A. were together arming the Afghan militias fighting Soviet troops. General Gul kept working with those forces, which eventually formed the Taliban. Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States said the reports were unsubstantiated and “do not reflect the current on-ground realities.” But at this point, denials about links with the militants are simply not credible.Why would Pakistan play this dangerous game? The ISI has long seen the Afghan Taliban as a proxy force, a way to ensure its influence on the other side of the border and keep India’s influence at bay....
In recent months, the Obama administration has said and done many of the right things toward building a long-term relationship with Pakistan. It has committed to long-term economic aid. It is encouraging better relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is constantly reminding Pakistani leaders that the extremists, on both sides of the border, pose a mortal threat to Pakistan’s fragile democracy — and their own survival. We don’t know if they’re getting through. We know they have to.It has been only seven months since Mr. Obama announced his new strategy for Afghanistan, and a few weeks since General Petraeus took command. But Americans are increasingly weary of this costly war. If Mr. Obama cannot persuade Islamabad to cut its ties to, and then aggressively fight, the extremists in Pakistan, there is no hope of defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks disclosures unlikely to change course of Afghanistan war
In the first 24 hours after the unauthorized release of more than 91,000 secret documents about the war in Afghanistan, a few things became clear to the officials, lawmakers and experts reading them: Obama says WikiLeaks disclosure is reason for concern but doesn't reveal new issues
After war leak, anger but no calls for change Officials say leak won't alter views
-- New evidence the war is plagued by unreliable Afghan and Pakistani partners unlikely to undermine fragile congressional support or force the Obama administration to shift strategy.
-- The disclosure of what are mostly battlefield updates does not appear to represent a major threat to national security or troops' safety, according to military officials.
-- The documents' release could compel President Obama to explain more forcefully the war's importance, military analysts said. Some have criticized Obama for not explaining the administration's strategy for bolstering the weak Afghan government and countering the Taliban's rise.

Afghans: 52 die in NATO attack; alliance disputes
The allegation was raised as Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, released more than 90,000 secret U.S. Afghanistan war military documents Sunday on the Web... including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings...Assange suggested the number of civilian casualties was underplayed, saying the secret files show U.S. reports use "self-exculpatory language, redefine civilian casualties as insurgent casualties, downplay the number of casualties."...that thousands of U.S. attacks could be investigated for evidence of war crimes..
The U.S.-led command said a joint NATO-Afghan investigation into the alleged attack "has thus far revealed no evidence of civilians injured or killed.""Any speculation at this point of an alleged civilian casualty in Rigi village is completely unfounded," said Rear Adm. Rick Smith, communications director the command. "We are conducting a thorough joint investigation with our Afghan partners and will report any and all findings when known...Investigators determined that NATO and Afghan troops came under attack Friday about six miles south of the village and responded with helicopter strikes, according to the statement. All fires were observed and accounted for and struck the intended target," the statement said. "Coalition forces reported six insurgents killed in the strike, including a Taliban commander, a report verified by ground observation and intelligence sources.""

Wikileaks disclosures are not expected to [DID NOT] affect the passage of a $60 billion war funding bill currently in the House or drastically change public opinion about the war in Afghanistan (AP, CNN, Wash Post, LAT)
The AfPak Channel is a special project of the New America Foundation and Foreign Policy.http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/

Leaky Vessels: Wikileaks “Revelations” Will Comfort Warmongers, Confirm Conventional Wisdom
Chris Floyd
Getting this message out via “critical” stories in “liberal” publications is much more effective than dishing up another serving of patriotic hokum on Fox News or at a presidential press conference...so much more effective that one almost begins to wonder about the ultimate provenance of the leaks... their ultimate effect does provoke the age-old question, cui bono?

"Wikileaks is guilty on the grounds of moral capability"
Current secretary of US Imperialist Global Bloodsucking Destruction and Death Robert Gates

WikiLeaks may have 'blood on their hands'
"Mr Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family," Admiral Mullen said.

Wikileaks report of war logs about Afghanistan show why Obama must be on offensive
Wikileaks report of war logs about Afghanistan again puts Obama on the PR defensive about the war. He needs to show more leadership in shaping public opinion.
By the Monitor's Editorial Board / July 26, 2010
American presidents in wartime must always lead public opinion, not simply do damage control after bad news. For President Obama, the leak on Sunday about “war logs” of the Afghanistan war has again thrown him on the defensive on the home front of public opinion. The war logs come only weeks after other bad news – about Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s disrespectful comments – also helped create fresh doubts about the way the war is being waged and the policy divisions within the administration...They may further disturb Americans about the messy task of winning a seemingly intractable conflict.The timing of the leaks – three months before elections for Congress – says something about the motive of the unknown leaker(s) within the government. So does the fact that the information was given to an activist website, WikiLeaks, whose Australian owner declares he wants to make sure the war is conducted humanely. Strangely, the logs only go up to December 2009, the month that Mr. Obama announced a new strategy calling for a surge of 30,000 additional troops in the conflict...
Obama has rightly stepped up resources for this war – in order to finish the task as soon as possible. But by now he should have learned to apply greater time and effort to win over American support. If he does not speak more often and more openly about the war – its problems and its successes – he will lose support in Congress. He may then be forced to withdraw US troops before Afghanistan can gain the upper hand over the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Obama’s national security strategy is focused on tending the revival of America’s domestic strength in order to create a stronger US presence abroad. But as this latest flap shows, he must also tend to domestic support for this war of necessity, knowing that news shocks are the norm in almost any war.

Did The Washington Post's “Top Secret America” series reveal any top secrets? Not many, literally speaking.
Intel "mosaic Theory": Top Secret America: Counter-terrorism apparatus is hidden, lacks oversight
By Peter Grier, Staff writer / July 21, 201
The Post’s two-year investigation into the nation’s massive post-9/11 security buildup was constructed almost entirely from public records, according to the paper. But in a larger sense the project may have produced an overall picture that the US government would consider classified, had it produced such a report itself.In recent years the US has consistently pushed a “mosaic theory” of intelligence gathering. This holds that individually harmless pieces of information, when combined with other pieces, can produce a composite picture that reveals national security vulnerabilities.“Under the mosaic theory, even if the individual pieces are part of the public domain, a particular aggregation of data, or method by which the data was compiled, could in fact be classified,” says Stephen Vladeck, a professor and expert in national security law at American University’s Washington College of Law....

The Mosaic Theory, National Security, and the Freedom of Information Act
David E. Pozen http://www.yalelawjournal.org/images/pdfs/358.pdf
This Note documents the evolution of the “mosaic theory” in (FOIA) national security law and highlights its centrality in the post-9/11 landscape of information control. After years of doctrinal stasis and practical anonymity, federal agencies began asserting the theory more aggressively thereby testing the limits of executive secrecy and of judicial deference....

FBI Director Mueller endorsed anti-terrorism legislation to require prepaid cell-phone sellers to keep records of buyers' identities.

FBI defends guidelines for domestic surveillance:
the FBI is defending domestic surveillance guidelines that critics fear could unfairly target innocent Muslims in terrorism and other criminal investigations.

White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity
By Ellen Nakashima
The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation. (FBI access to e-mail and web records raises fears)... to add "electronic communication transactional records" -- to a list of items the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and a user's browser history. ..what strikes industry lawyers and privacy advocates as an expansion of the power the government wields through so-called national security letters... which can be issued by an FBI field office on its own authority, require the recipient to provide the requested information and to keep the request secret.. the mechanism the government would use to obtain the electronic records.
Stewart A. Baker, a former senior Bush administration Homeland Security official, said the proposed change would broaden the bureau's authority. "It'll be faster and easier to get the data," said Baker, who practices national security and surveillance law. "And for some Internet providers, it'll mean giving a lot more information to the FBI in response to an NSL." ... "incredibly bold, given the amount of electronic data the government is already getting," said Michelle Richardson, American Civil Liberties Union legislative counsel... Marc Zwillinger, an attorney for Internet companies, said some providers are not giving the FBI more than the four categories specified. He added that with the rise of social networking, the government's move could open a significant amount of Internet activity to surveillance..." (Facebook hits 500 million users, but at what cost?)
(FBI and Department of Justice join forces, investigate Wikileaks) (NSA whistleblower now works at Apple store)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D.RI) on Cybersecurity, 27 Jul 2010
"I believe we are suffering what is probably the biggest transfer of wealth through theft and piracy in the history of mankind," said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), referring to the penetration and compromise of U.S. information systems by foreign nations and criminal entities....The intelligence community is keenly aware of the threat and is doing all it can within existing laws and authorities to counter it. The bad news is the rest of our country--including the rest of the Federal Government--is not keeping pace with the threat. Part of the problem, he said, is that "threat information affecting the dot.gov and the dot.mil domains is largely classified--often very highly classified" and so "the public knows very little about the size and scope of the threat their Nation faces.... If they knew how vulnerable America' critical infrastructure is and the national security risk that has resulted, they would demand action. It is hard to legislate in a democracy when the public has been denied so much of the relevant information."
Among several proposed responses that he described, he said "we must more clearly define the rules of engagement for covert action by our country against cyber-threats. This is an especially sensitive subject and highly classified. But for here, let me just say that the intelligence community and the Department of Defense must be in a position to provide the President with as many lawful options as possible to counter cyber-threats, and the executive branch must have the appropriate authorities, policies, and
procedures for covert cyber-activities, including how to react in real time when the attack comes at the speed of light..." More than 40 bills on cyber security are currently pending in Congress, Sen. Whitehouse noted.http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2010_cr/cyber.html

6-23-09 DOD launches US Cyber Command
"...coordination of defensive and offensive activities to ensure the security and availability of the critical information infrastructure..."

“U.S. General Reserves Right to Use Force, Even Nuclear, in Response to Cyber Attack”
Elaine M. Grossman, Global Security Newswire, 5-12-09

Pentagon Partners with FBI to Investigate Leaked Military Documents
Suzanne Presto 29 July 2010
Photo: AP Defense Secretary Robert Gates (l) accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen hold a press briefing at the Pentagon, 29 Jul 2010
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation,to assist in the probe into the leak and publication of classified military documents. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen spoke about the issue at a press conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, several days after the Internet website WikiLeaks posted tens of thousands of documents about the war in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Gates told reporters that problems highlighted in the leaked documents about the war in Afghanistan have been publicly known for some time. But he did not downplay the possible damage caused by the release of what he called "a mountain of raw data and individual impressions" that is "devoid of context or analysis."
"The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world," said Robert Gates...
The defense secretary declined to directly answer a reporter's question about whether WikiLeaks or the news media would be investigated for publishing the classified information. "My basic position, though, is the investigation should go wherever it needs to go," said Gates. "And one of the reasons that I asked the director of the FBI to partner with us in this is to ensure that it can go wherever it needs to go."....Gates said the Pentagon is also taking action on the ground in war zones to prevent another such breach. He said this will include tightening procedures for accessing and transporting classified information...

"29 Jul 2010 ... Congress should eliminate the classification category known as "Formerly Restricted .... http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2010_cr/cyber.html ..."www.newsroomamerica.com/story/38872/secrecy_news_--_07/29/10.html

Will WikiLeaks Leak End Gov't Info Sharing?
Some Intelligence Veterans Say It's Time to Rethink How Classified Information is Shared by Agencies
Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist at the Federation of American Scientists, predicted agencies would look for ways to tag records through electronic watermarks, so that their origins, and the leaker, could be more easily identified. Former CIA chief Hayden, who now works at the Chertoff Group, a Washington-based consulting firm, went further, suggesting pouring resources into "real-time keystroke analysis of government employees," monitoring everything they type and creating a perpetual cyber-polygraph.

New P2P initiative: public and private cyber defense and intelligence collaboration
Government and industry need to pool cyber threat intelligence
By Kevin Coleman*
The recent events and media attention centered on cyberattacks on Google and 33 other organizations, which include defense contractors, are clear indicators that cyber defense, security and intelligence must be increased and based on a foundation of cooperation and collaboration between the public and private sectors. It is clear that cyber intelligence must become an integrated, proactive component of cyber defense not only in the government and military sectors but also in the private sector... The cyber threat environment demands that organizations take proactive measures based on near real-time cyber intelligence collected from a broad base of sources in the public and private sector.
In addition to becoming proactive and increasing cyber defenses, we also need to create an international cyber deterrence treaty with teeth. Although the State Department has lodged a formal complaint against China regarding the cyberattacks that struck Google, Adobe Systems and dozens of other companies, this is clearly not enough...
The attacks against Google and others are said to be very complex — even more complex than the GhostNet attacks that were discovered and reported in spring 2009. In efforts to gain a competitive edge, foreign governments and businesses are using malware and hacking to acquire or steal the latest technologies from our research and development centers. An increased number of organizations and officials are predicting that in 2010, we will see the first real cyberattack exchange involving the United States.
*Kevin Coleman is a senior fellow with the Technolytics Institute, former chief strategist at Netscape, and adviser on cyber warfare and security. He is also the author of "Cyber Commander's Handbook." kgcoleman@technolytics.com.

"real time dossiers on people "
Exclusive: Google, CIA Invest in ‘Future’ of Web Monitoring
By Noah Shachtman July 29, 2010 "Wired"
The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time and says it uses that information to predict the future.
The company, Recorded Future, scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come...the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.” The idea is to figure out for each incident who was involved, where it happened and when it might go down. Recorded Future then plots that chatter, showing online “momentum” for any given event. “The cool thing is, you can actually predict the curve, in many cases,” says company CEO Christopher Ahlberg, a former Swedish Army Ranger with a PhD in computer science...Recorded Future strips from web pages the people, places and activities they mention. The company examines when and where these events happened (“spatial and temporal analysis”) and the tone of the document (“sentiment analysis”). Then it applies some artificial-intelligence algorithms to tease out connections between the players. Recorded Future maintains an index with more than 100 million events, hosted on Amazon.com servers. The analysis, however, is on the living web. “We’re right there as it happens,” Ahlberg told Danger Room as he clicked through a demonstration. “We can assemble actual real-time dossiers on people.”... Which naturally makes the... firm attractive to Google Ventures, the search giant’s investment division, and to In-Q-Tel, which handles similar duties for the CIA and the wider intelligence community.
It’s not the first time Google has done business with America’s spy agencies. Long before it enlisted the help of the National Security Agency to secure its networks, Google sold equipment to the secret signals-intelligence group. In-Q-Tel backed the mapping firm Keyhole, which was bought by Google in 2004 — and then became the backbone for Google Earth. This appears to be the first time, however, that the intelligence community and Google have funded the same startup, at the same time...America’s spy services have become increasingly interested in mining “open source intelligence” — information publicly available, but often hidden in the daily avalanche of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports. “Secret information isn’t always the brass ring in our profession,” then CIA-director General Michael Hayden told a conference in 2008. “In fact, there’s a real satisfaction in solving a problem or answering a tough question with information someone was dumb enough to leave out in the open.” U.S. spy agencies, through In-Q-Tel, have invested in a number of firms to help them better find that information. Visible Technologies crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. Attensity applies the rules of grammar to the so-called “unstructured text” of the web to make it more easily digestible by government databases. Keyhole (now Google Earth) is a staple of the targeting cells in military-intelligence units.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt hosted a town hall at company headquarters in the early days of Obama’s presidential campaign. Senior White House officials like economic chief Larry Summers give speeches at the New America Foundation, the left-of-center think tank chaired by Schmidt. Former Google public policy chief Andrew McLaughlin is now the White House’s deputy CTO...In some corners, the scrutiny of the company’s political ties have dovetailed with concerns about how Google collects and uses its enormous storehouse of search data, e-mail, maps and online documents. Google, as we all know, keeps a titanic amount of information about every aspect of our online lives....

Cybercom Group: Cybercom and Microsoft Launch System for Fast, Secure Web-Based Identification October 15th, 2007

U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets
By Noah Shachtman
In-Q-Tel , the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies , a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence ” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day. [...]
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence maintains an Open Source Center, which combs publicly available information, including web 2.0 sites. Doug Naquin, the Center’s Director, told an audience of intelligence professionals in October 2007 that “we’re looking now at YouTube, which carries some unique and honest-to-goodness intelligence…. We have groups looking at what they call ‘citizens media’: people taking pictures with their cell phones and posting them on the internet. Then there’s social media, phenomena like MySpace and blogs.” But, “the CIA specifically needs the help of innovative tech firms to keep up with the pace of innovation in social media. Experienced IC [intelligence community] analysts may not be the best at detecting the incessant shift in popularity of social-networking sites. They need help in following young international internet user-herds as they move their allegiance from one site to another,” Lewis Shepherd, the former senior technology officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, says in an e-mail. “Facebook says that more than 70 percent of its users are outside the U.S., in more than 180 countries. There are more than 200 non-U.S., non-English-language microblogging Twitter-clone sites today. If the intelligence community ignored that tsunami of real-time information, we’d call them incompetent.”

IDF unit to fight enemies on Facebook, Twitter
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1131918.html , December 1, 2009
The Israel Defense Forces will begin drafting computer experts toward establishing an Internet and new media department unit ...The Army Spokesman's Office began working in this area more than a year ago. During Operation Cast Lead it put up YouTube videos of attacks on targets in the Gaza Strip, to illustrate the care the IDF takes to avoid hitting civilians....The IDF YouTube account got millions of hits during Operation Cast Lead, which led to the decision to expand activity at the site and other social network Web sites...