Monday, December 5


President Nixon, for example, once belittled the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in words that capture the common mistake: “What use are they? They’ve got over 40,000 people over there reading newspapers.”

A CIA analyst argues that Nixon was mistaken to think that secret sources always beat open sources of intelligence (OSINT).


When the above article was linked to by Arts & Letters Daily a couple of weeks back, I expected to see a lot of commentary on blogs about it, since the idea that open source intelligence is often better than covert spying is one that lends itself very strongly to the internet and the information that can be gleaned from it.

Oddly enough, in the course of my normal blog-reading, I didn't see anyone else link to the article, so I thought I'd better so I can return to it again some other time.


And as if to underline my take on the article, the internet has just become that little bit more powerful, thanks to Google's Web Comments tool. I've just installed that, and right away I used it to discover that contrary to what I thought, there were plenty of blogs that linked to the OSINT article.