Open Source Intelligence Blog, 31 October 2012
Without setting the schmaltzy pride of belated parents aside, David Omand, Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller – as an online first article in Taylor & Francis’ well-established periodical ‘Intelligence and National Security‘ – are ‘Introducing Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT)‘. What the world needed, was yet another INT, and here it is. Of course, despite the claim of its authors, SOCMINT is nothing new at all in the OSINT domain, but merely a rebranding of one specific range of its application. Thematically rather related is the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) latest publication ‘The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes‘, also a “first of its kind” according to UNODC (maybe a first for them, but probably not for academia, think tanks, security services etc.). So let’s have a quick look at both.
Phi Beta Iota: The first ever publication in English to address intelligence use of the Internet was by LtCdr Andrew Chester, RN CA, Intelligence Exploitation of the Internet (SACLANT, 2002). Social media, and the tools for exploiting social media (the Obama 2012 campaign notwithstanding), are still very immature. The primary innovators today appear to be International Crisis Mapping and Dr. Patrick Meier, with a focus on practical active leveraging rather than passive intrusive monitoring.