#5 — Have a cover story.
#4 — Shake a tail.
#3 — Use passwords and encrypt data.
#2 — Have an agent network.
#1 — Use satellites.
Only an expert case officer with deep contacts can hope to be able to respond to the wide variety of requests for information. In today's fast moving, crisis-of-the-day type world, the question becomes “Where can I find good sources of information … on this particular topic … quickly?”
Twitter to the rescue!
Phi Beta Iota: Clever, but incomplete. Amazon and LinkedIn are vastly superior to Twitter, and all three will probably be superceded at some point in the future by Liquid Democracy turning into the World Brain and Global Game. Throw in citation analytics, structured identification of unpublished field experts, and true M4IS2 (i.e. all languages, not just English) and you get closer to ground zero.
Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else, as published in CounterPunch, Weekend Edition, February 27 – 1 March 2009
Human Intelligence (HUMINT): All Humans, All Minds, All the Time (US Army Strategic Studies Institute, June 2010)