Journal: In Defense of RSS–Does USIC OSC “Get” RSS?

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In defense of RSS

Lots of buzz today about RSS (dying or not dying).

If you’re not using it, can I strongly suggest you give it a try? I use Newsfire. Not sure the particular readers matters, though.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. It’s not particularly difficult to keep up with 200 blogs you care about in less than hour using an RSS reader.
  2. RSS provides home delivery. Instead of remembering where to click, or waiting for a post to get all buzzy and hot, the good stuff comes to you. Automatically and free.
  3. Subscribing to a blog is easy. Just click here for my blog, for example. In Newsfire, you can paste the URL of any blog and it automatically finds the RSS feed for you.

RSS is quiet and fast and professional and largely hype-free. Perhaps that’s why it’s not the flavor of the day.

Phi Beta Iota: The Public Daily Brief done by Winston Maike (RIP) out of Australia can be seen at the Archives.  With his death and the economic crash we had to discontinue–but on a shoestring, we covered all ten threats, all twelve policies, all eight demogrpahics, once a week, in eight pages, AND a single one page presidential-level summary for all 30 factors.  6,000 people were receiving that weekly document.  OCS/FBIS does not offer anything helpful to Whole of Government–if they did, they would have focused on RSS to individual action officers across all the Departments and agencies, with the added value of using that to bond classified subject matter experts with the larger community of open source experts through  the non-intelligence action officers.  100 T-1 lines into an existing septic tank does not impress us.

Read more below the line….

Phi Beta Iota: Various individuals have inquired about our view of Doug Naquin’s competency and attitude in light of his statement, no doubt watered down, that Steele was (in 2004) 15 years out of date.  Apart from Mr. Naquin’s being unaware of being totally penetrated with no secrets–sorry about that–the fact is that 100 T-1 lines sucking off 4% of the Internet is totally unimpressive and also totally useless to the distributed Whole of Government client base, no matter how hard L-3 tries to add cosmetics and gloss over the missing 150 languages.  The tens of millions being wasted by STRATCOM and SOS International add weight to our continued assessment of Doug Naquin and FBIS and USDI and STRATCOM as being well-intentioned but so oblivious to reality as to be comatose.  We were not going to comment at all, but Seth Godin’s post today reminds us of what we told CIA and others in the mid-1990’s after learning it from the Dutch: centralized discovery, decentralized exploitation.

Had FBIS actually had a clue, by now, across the Whole of Government, every single action officer, desk officer, case officer, special agent, every single one of them would have a tailored RSS feed coming to them, with desktop tools such as a number of us specified in 1984-1988, and we would have taught Whole of Government how to “do” its own conversion of Open Source Information (OSIF) into Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), the latter to be validated in an all-source context (OSINT-V) where appropriate.  FBIS, STRATCOM, and what passes for OSINT at DIA, NSA, and elsewhere (HTT, FMSO, etcetera) are all, still, abject failures–not for lack of good intentions, but for lack of intelligence.  They just do not know what they do not know, starting with the reality that it is non-US humans never eligible for clearances that are the heart and soul of OSINT–the Internet is a communications device (including tools for sharing and visualizing and so on), nothing more.  USDI and FBIS are treating OSINT as is it were a technical collection challenge, and that is the stake in their heart.  By the by, not once, in all eternity, has Doug Naquin ever asked for help or a second opinion.  He remains a virgin in M4IS2 terms….those are hard to find these days, so we hope CIA gives him another bonus for his purity, totally consistent with CIA’s first reaction in 1992 to the USMC proposal to host an open source conference:  “no problem, as long as it is SECRET and for U.S. Citizens Only.”  NOTHING HAS CHANGED…we’re simply wasting hundreds of millions more on the wrong culture, wrong mind-sets, and wrong processes.  Open Sores, indeed.  Try sucking chest wound (more bubbles than blood) to describe what passes as intelligence out of both CIA and DIA. They are both useless and will remain so for the foreseeable future.  Others can judge the NRO and NSA.

See Also:

2008 IJIC 21/3 The Open Source Program: Missing in Action*
2007 DOC Memoranda: OSS CEO to DNI One-Pager*

2010 M4IS2 Briefing for South America — 2010 M4IS2 Presentacion por Sur America (ANEPE Chile)
2010 The Ultimate Hack Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth (Chapter for Counter-Terrorism Book Out of Denmark)
2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated
Search: The Future of OSINT [is M4IS2-Multinational]
2009 DoD OSINT Leadership and Staff Briefings
2006 REF Arno Reuser (NL) on Virtual Open Source Agency
2003 REF Arno Reuser (NL) on Intelligence Librarian Tradecraft
Robert Steele on Advanced Information Operations
Interview: Robert Steele on Echo Chamber 2006

* Staffed in several drafts via Admiral Bill Studeman and Mr. Joe Markowitz and a few others in 2007-2008.   Adm Studeman personally took the one-pager–which started as an eleven-pager–in to Adm McConnell in July 2007.