I will not replicate all that is at www.oss.net and to a much lesser extent, www.earth-intelligence.net, but do want to recognize a handful of extraordinary individuals by isolating their especially meritorious contributiions to the long-running debate about national intelligence reform and re-invention.
Why Criminal Hackers Must Not Be Rewarded Part 1: The Fruit of the Poisoned Tree
By M. E. Kabay, 11/30/2009
In 1995, I participated in a debate with distinguished security expert Robert D. Steele, a vigorous proponent of open-source intelligence. We discussed the advisability of hiring criminal hackers. Perhaps readers will find the polemic I published back then of interest today. I’m sure it will provoke vitriolic comments from the criminal hacker community.
The Imperfect is the Enemy of the Good: Anticircumvention Versus Open Innovation
Wendy Seltzer, Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Vol. 25, 2010
Digital Rights Management, law-backed technological control of usage of copyrighted works, is clearly imperfect: It often fails to stop piracy and frequently blocks non-infringing uses. Yet the drive to correct these imperfections masks a deeper conflict, between the DRM system of anticircumvention and open development in the entire surrounding media environment. This conflict, at the heart of the DRM schema, will only deepen, even if other aspects of DRM can be improved. This paper takes a systemic look at the legal, technical, and business environment of DRM to highlight this openness conflict
and its effects.
. . . . . . .
In the full cost-benefit analysis of anticircumvention, the loss to open innovation would outweigh the gains from this imperfect mechanism of copyright enforcement. Treating code literally as law leaves the law with too many harmful side effects.
Abstract: If we were to start from scratch today to design a quality-controlled archive and distribution system for research findings, would it be realized as a set of “electronic clones” of print journals? Could we imagine instead some form of incipient knowledge network for our research communications infrastructure? What differences should be expected in its realization for different scientific research fields? Is there an obvious alternative to the false dichotomy of “classical peer review” vs. no quality control at all? What is the proper role of governments and their funding agencies in this enterprise, and what might be the role of suitably configured professional societies? These are some of the key questions raised by the past decade of initial experience with new forms of electronic research infrastructure. In the below, I will suggest only some partial answers to the above, with more complete answers expected on the 5-10 year timescale.
Phi Beta Iota: The Department of State (State), which should be the primary interface between the Republic, it's policy, acquisition, and operations communities, and the rest of the world, has fewer diplomats than the Department of Defense (DoD) has military musicians; and continues to suffer persistent staffing and foreign language gaps that “compromise diplomatic readiness” according to the General Accountability Office (GAO).
Memorandum of Transmittal by Robert David STEELE Vivas
Subject: Counterinsurgency Conference Overview
Mr. Jason Liszkiewicz, Executive Director of the Earth Intelligence Network (EIN) and resident in NYC, attended the 20 November 2009 conference on counterinsurgency (speakers identified on page two), and provided me with the notes on pages 3-9. Below is my own exploitation of these notes.
IGNORANT US POLICYMAKERS. We have policymakers with crippling illusions about how the world is—worst ever—people in policy positions do not understand the problems they are making policy on—Congress is unsophisticated about Afghanistan; Washington-area decision-makers vastly misunderstand the enemy—Taliban is a super-bug adapting super-fast. This is NOT about Al Qaeda having a home base. Congress lacks next of kin engaged.
CORRUPT AFGHAN OFFICIALS. Afghan government officials own 32% of the Palm Islands in Dubai—election was “industrial-strength fraud”—tsunami of cash (US, Saudi, others) drives corruption. NOTE: No Afghans on any of the panels.
US LACKS AREA KNOWLEDGE & STRATEGY. We really do not “get” the Afghanistan-Pakistan-India context, detail, etcetera. US “strategy” of “ten cities” is a mirror of the Soviet strategy before defeat. Doctrine is not a substitute for Strategy. Water (Indus River) is central to Pakistan-India relationship (Kashmir is about water). Question NOT being asked: how do we do this without a US ground presence? “Cheap coat of paint” approach to challenges. “Tactics without strategy is noise before defeat.” Saudi money, Pakistan-Taliban axis will outlast US money and US ground presence.
COUNTERINSURGENCY MANUAL LACKING. Counterinsurgency manual is not realistic and warps policy debate—the reality of poppy crops is not in the manual, not in the “strategy/doctrine”
UN, AID, NGO OOB NOT WORKNG. UN not working, its role not thought out, shortfalls in specialized everything. Local corruption and family-political angling for contracts lead to some IED’s intended to block or redirect contract funds. AID giving contracts to Americans, not Afghans. US has no ability to create ministries from scratch. Civilian capabilities non-existent or not understood by military when they do show up. No inter-agency planning in part because the civilians have no idea why they are there or what they should do.
LOST IN TRANSLATION. Continue to lack Pashto translators. More Pashto speakers within NYPD than in all US forces across Afghanistan
EXIT OPPORTUNITIES. Afghan Army most respected institution in country, best fighters but worst policemen. US ground presence makes things worse. Solutions have to be Afghan. Afghan population wants sovereignty and independence. US troops simply surviving, not campaigning.
On page 10 I provide the “Lessons Learned” from my 1992 study of USMC operations.
Phi Beta Iota: Berto Jongman flagged this from the Small Wars Journal. It is consistent with our own earlier diagnosis of Cognitive Dissonance, and we recommend it be read in its entirety. At the link below can be found a link to the original slide show. The author stresses the reasonable gravity of the conflict between being a Muslim and being asked to kill other Muslims, and while he avoids recommending a policy, we do not. DoD has been culturally ignorant for too long. It's time we brought both DoD human resource management and DoD counterintelligence into the 21st Century. See also: