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CIA Details Its Wikipedia-Like Tools For Analysts

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the facebook-without-faces dept.

Government 164

hhavensteincw writes "If you think selling Web 2.0 in your organization is hard, some early backers of a Wikipedia-like project at the Central Intelligence Agency were called traitors and told they 'would get someone killed' by their efforts. But Intellipedia — the CIA's version of Wikipedia — now is so heavily used by analysts that the agency is using it in its security briefings, according to two of the CIA employees who work on the project. Intellipedia has been expanded since it was first launched so that now it boasts its own YouTube-like channel for video and Flickr-like photo sharing as well as a wiki where workers can debate different intel information."

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164 comments

I guess (5, Insightful)

travelmug (1304549) | more than 5 years ago | (#23756955)

I don't see how this will improve the accuracy of the information. It will just help poor intel get passed more efficiently.

Re:I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757007)

It will just help poor intel get passed more efficiently.
The way intel is going, those who rely on the agencies are more concerned with sensitivity than specificity. That is, they don't care if people get hurt, as long as they get what they want.

Re:I guess (5, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757011)

You can tell which intel is poor because it's got [citation needed] all over the place.

Article: No WMDs in Iraq (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757117)

Deleted: Doesn't indicate importance/significance

Re:I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23758283)

You dont know how right you are.

Re:I guess (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23758449)

I'd love to see the references to that...

1. ^ Mohammed Al'Water-Torture.

Re:I guess (5, Insightful)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757119)

Efficiency in dissemination is just as important as accuracy. Getting accurate information earlier to more people can save everyone a lot of trouble.

Re:I guess (2, Informative)

Daniel Weis (1209058) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757217)

However, getting inaccurate information earlier to more people can cause everyone a lot of trouble... It's not so clear cut and dry...

Re:I guess (3, Insightful)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757403)

True enough, but there are systems in place to mitigate the possibility of inaccurate information. Their wiki is based off of the Wikipedia engine, so they should still have the ability to provide citations (I guess in their case it would be where the intel came from and whether or not the source was reliable.). Edit histories, the ability to revert changes, they should have all of these features. At worst it would be as if the wiki didn't exist, and the intel would still be just as questionable (not that the wiki makes the intel any more credible, it would just be more centralized and up-to-date) as it might've been before.

It is vital, in fact (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757255)

If nobody knows the intelligence information, and nobody can put together a full picture, well then it is useless. For example while hindsight is always 20/20, it still looks as though the government had all the information to put together what was going to happen on 9/11. The problem was, there wasn't a good way of accessing and analyzing it. It wasn't like there was a report saying "Terrorists will hit the towers on this day," it was little fragments all over. Well, all those little fragments ended up doing no good. Nobody was ever able to put it together, and thus there was no warning that would have allowed prevention.

Had there been efficient dissemination of the information, it is possible some analyst would have put it all together and then been able to generate a report that would be acted on.

Re:It is vital, in fact (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757393)

Well, all those little fragments ended up doing no good.
So, in response, we've spent billions and billions of dollars and lots of and lots of street cred gathering up MORE little fragments.
While two hackers in the basement of the Farm put together a wiki for practically nothing.

Those guys ARE traitors, it's not that they might get someone killed - they cut the military-industrial-complex out of the loop, preventing them from making more profits than the oil industry...

Re:It is vital, in fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757537)

Billions spent on intel projects like this?

It seems like you are finding avenues to rechannel funding for comp projects like this.

The complex in this country has failed its citizens and it is amazing that there are not attacks on US soil.

- The Demetrius -

Re:It is vital, in fact (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757981)

Those guys ARE traitors, it's not that they might get someone killed - they cut the military-industrial-complex out of the loop, preventing them from making more profits than the oil industry.
Pssst! The oil industry is part of the military-industrial-complex. But you didn't hear that from me.

Re:It is vital, in fact (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757511)

it still looks as though the government had all the information to put together what was going to happen on 9/11. The problem was, there wasn't a good way of accessing and analyzing it.
No, I think this was the problem:

"We've seen 23-year-olds [come into the agency] ... and within several months be indoctrinated to the existing culture. They want to fit in. All that creativity they had before they walked in the door is pushed aside.
Decades of pissing contests got ingrained into their organization's culture and the new blood never even had a chance to make any incremental changes.

It took a clusterfuck of epic proportions to change the way the alphabet agencies related to one another.

Re:I guess (4, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757297)

Think about it for a second. Intelligence is nothing more than putting lots of disparate little facts together into a semi-coherent view of a given situation. What better than a massive hyperlinked encyclopedia-like information repository for this?

At the expense of sounding slightly ridiculous, imagine how much mileage they're going to get out of the "What links here" function!?

If they use it correctly (and the weakest link here is the prompt input of information) then I can't see this not being anything but good.

Re:I guess (1)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758607)

What better than a massive hyperlinked encyclopedia-like information repository for this?

I believe Mr. Cheney is quite satisfied with his man-sized office safe, thank you.

Re:I guess (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757385)

" at the Central Intelligence Agency were called traitors and told they "would get someone killed" by their efforts."
Everytime the CIA fucks up, god kills a kitten :|

Re:I guess (1)

Maestro485 (1166937) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757441)

It will just help poor intel get passed more efficiently.
I'm pretty sure the White House press secretary and various cable news channels cornered that market some time ago.

RTFA (4, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757491)

Dennehy noted that Intellipedia has several important distinctions from Wikipedia. First, Intellipedia is not limited to being an encyclopedia. Rather, users can create their own pages to be used within workgroups or teams so they can debate and collaborate around issues.

"We are not typically dealing with facts," he noted. "We are dealing with puzzles and mysteries. Everyone in the community is working on something of vital national security importance. We want to get to the point in the intelligence community where everyone is contributing their knowledge to Intellipedia."
In other words, they're using the wiki as a collaboration tool, not as a information aggregator. That's actually what Ward Cunningham had in mind when he invented the Wiki, and it's still the one thing Wikis really excell at. Sure, wikis are used for a lot of other stuff (like building reference books, a task at which they positively suck), but only because using them saves a lot of money.

Re:RTFA (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758017)

That's actually what Ward Cunningham had in mind when he invented the Wiki
What is it with guys named 'Ward' and software written to support communications anyway?

(Ward Christensen wrote Xmodem)

Oh Boy.... (2, Funny)

Wiseblood1 (1135095) | more than 5 years ago | (#23756959)

How long before a troll causes an international incident or snafu?

Re:Oh Boy.... (1, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757333)

This is not exposed to teh intertubes my man. It runs on the CIA's internal secure network. It just happens to use Wikimedia as the engine.

Re:Oh Boy.... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757475)

Actually, Intellipedia also is connected to SIPRnet for military use. You don't actually think that the DoD wouldn't be connected to all available intel links do you?

It's actually a very good collaboration tool, as normally cross-department/cross-agency work is almost non-existant, and when the information does get passed along, it's too old to be useful. Also, things like streaming UAS feeds are often on there as well, as sometimes other agencies are better at imageint than the ones taking the pictures.

  - sF (...somewhere in Iraq.)

It makes a lot of sense... (4, Insightful)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#23756965)

Having a collaborative tool that makes it easier to keep profiles up to date is better.

The CIA also doesn't have to worry about vandalism- no one is going to blank a page and replace it to the word "penis" when every edit is tied to their name... plus, being in the CIA is serious work, so I'd imagine the maturity level is higher anyways.

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (0)

LordHatrus (763508) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757037)

>>plus, being in the CIA is serious work

Come on, the internet is serious business too!

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (4, Informative)

travelmug (1304549) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757051)

Most of this collaboration is done over the SIPRNET and therefore not subject to vandalism.

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757479)

There are multiple 'pedias, one is on SIPRNET and another is on the TS net. They are completely different, due to the different classification levels.

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (1)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757069)

It's good to see stories like this. Here's an example of the government making progress towards better security. I remember that one of their big challenges was how to get all the disparate agencies working together and sharing information.

Choosing wikipedia as a model is a great idea. Its like someone in a meeting actually had some worthwhile input when they asked "how can we improve communication?" - "how about we use a modern tool that has essentially revolutionized how factual information is disseminated."

Who would have thought the government would adopt the idea of wikipedia? Pretty cool and pretty nerdy.

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (1)

-Tango21- (703195) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758301)

As much as it seems to run counter-intuitively, certain sectors of the government, at different times, whether out of necessity or to follow a fading fad, are using "starfish" decentralization design. Consider Rod A. Beckstrom [wikipedia.org] who wrote The Starfish and the Spider [amazon.com] who was appointed to the head of the National Cyber Security Center in March of this year. For whatever the root reason, I for one am glad to see such change taking a foothold, for it seems to be a stepping stone toward greater efficiency and cooperation.

Personally knowing that corporate Wiki's require tender care, I wish this little Wiki luck on it's journey.

WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (4, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757091)

no one is going to blank a page and replace it to the word "penis"

I suppose double agents are more mature than that. For me, the whole wiki concept clashes with the need to know concept. It makes no sense for an organization like the CIA to make every information they have available to anyone inside the organization.


If I were doing something like that, I would make sure to at least have every submission vetted by someone above the submitter in the hierarchy.

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (3, Insightful)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757245)

For me, the whole wiki concept clashes with the need to know concept. It makes no sense for an organization like the CIA to make every information they have available to anyone inside the organization.

I'm sure it's still on a need-to-know basis. The article states that anyone with access to certain networks can read the wiki, but there is authorization involved with making edits. I'm also sure that their wiki follows their pre-existing rules about who can access what information, they're not going to suddenly dump a lot of top-secret information into a wiki that everyone has access to.

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (4, Interesting)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757813)

My company uses Confluence [atlassian.com] as an internal wiki for project and technical documentation. It's a piece of cake to create groups and assign fine-tuned privileges with regards to viewing, editing, commenting and destroying. I agree that an organisation with actual classified data is going to make damn sure the system they use can accommodate multiple clearance levels and 'need-to-know' groups.

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (2, Informative)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758511)

Its non-classified info anyway. Look at the top of this screenshot. [wikipedia.org]

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (2, Interesting)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758577)

Interesting. Of course, just because one article is marked as non-classified doesn't mean they all are. I also find it interesting that whoever took the screenshot is using Firefox and del.icio.us ;-) I guess I shouldn't be too surprised though given IE's security track record.

There's a lot to "need to know"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23758605)

I think most people here are confused by bright, shiny, new things, and don't understand how the intelligence process works.

A wiki, as they exist commonly on the Internet, has no sense of compartmentalization. This does not mean either you have access or you don't, it means you only has access to the information you need to. Separating this information with some silly authentication scheme on the same hardware would probably not fly very well. No wonder early attempts within the CIA were met with great resistance.

There's also the matter of formally processing and validating incoming information. You can't just have EVERYBODY add information to this system willy-nilly.

Hopefully, the actual "wiki" they have implemented is severely compartmentalized, and writable only by the proper analysts. - Not very wiki like... and that's my point.

Parts of a wiki system could be very beneficial to an intelligence process, but the typical wiki on the Internet is NOT an example of what we need.

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757365)

For me, the whole wiki concept clashes with the need to know concept. It makes no sense for an organization like the CIA to make every information they have available to anyone inside the organization.

You're right, but they might have adapted the Wikimedia PHP code to be able to restrict access based on authentication. I have no idea how, maybe they do it by namespace or something like that. But since they have the source they can certainly do it.

I'd be surprised if there's total access over the whole thing for everyone within the agency. That would make no sense from a compartmental standpoint.

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (1)

nbert (785663) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757429)

My guess it that it's either restricted to those who really need to know or the articles are only open to those having proper authorization. Either way they will try to improve communication while keeping certified material on a need to know base. They are following the wiki model, but they will not disclose ultra-secret information to the general staff. If they implement ACL's they'll only state the obvious information on the lowest level. If you are on the top you might look up Bin Laden's current location if it was known ;)

It's not so hard to implement a system which hides sections of a wiki article based on the user's authorization...

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757667)

If you are on the top you might look up Bin Laden's current location if it was known ;)

6 feet under some cave in pakistan?

if he was alive he would have released another video by now.

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (1)

devman (1163205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757791)

Its a backronym, not an acronym you insensitive clod!

"It has been suggested that "wiki" means "What I Know Is". However, this is a backronym." link. [wikipedia.org]

Re:WIKI is an acronym for "What I Know Is" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23758349)

From my knowledge of the intelligence communities, I would imagine that information put up there is either quite general (ie, not subject to compartmentalization) and also categorized according to reliability/validity (ie, top authority being with strong evidence, low reliability/validity being overheard by an unreliable person in an unlikely situation). Intelligence about other organisations (ie, foreign threats) isn't that compartmentalized unless there is a good reason (like it might compromise current operations) - it's the intelligence about your own stuff that is. Still, it's surprising what real intelligence can be gathered just by viewing these things. Just use your head, and you can infer quite a bit. The CIA will know this and try to control it.

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (1)

ampathee (682788) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757105)

Hey, internet is serious business!

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757247)

Hey, internet is serious business!
someone beat ya to it buddy. Sorry

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757125)

You'd be surprised how many edits there are for the site that details the exploits of the terror group P.E.N.I.S. though...

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (1)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757861)

I'll bet they've got the terrorist video from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back in there somewhere...

Jay: I am the master of the C.L.I.T.! Remember this fucking face, whenever you see C.L.I.T. you'll see this fucking face. I make that shit WORK! It does whatever the fuck I tell it to. No one rules the C.L.I.T like me. Not this little fuck, none of you little fucks out there. I AM THE C.L.I.T. COMMANDER! Remember that, commander of all C.L.I.T.s! When it comes down to business, this is what I do. I pinch it like this. Ooooh you little fuck. Then I rub my nose with it...

Re:It makes a lot of sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757547)

Most of the collaboration is most certainly not done over SIPRNET. That is a command and control network used by the DoD not the IC.

maybe they have two wikis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23756999)

The fake one set up for the benefit of enemy agents, and the real one.

We're f**cked (1)

Mephistro (1248898) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757031)

"Burke noted than Intellipedia includes instructions from a 1944 CIA field manual for sabotaging companies. The manual suggests that agents encourage companies to use channels to make decisions, and when possible refer matters to committees for further study and consideration. Companies will face further strife when spies within encourage haggling over the precise wording of communications."

My god! They are all spies!

Here come the edit wars.... (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757065)

  • (cur) (last) 11:57, 16 May 2008 IntelGuy (Talk | contribs) (46,528 bytes) (reverting per BLP. Please see [[WP:CIVIL]] and stop making personal attacks, jerk!)
  • (cur) (last) 11:46, 16 May 2008 CocaineImportAgent (Talk | contribs) (46,589 bytes) (revert; please stop censoring well-sourced material just because it is critical of your terrorist hero, douchebag!) (undo)
  • (cur) (last) 11:38, 16 May 2008 IntelGuy (Talk | contribs) (46,589 bytes) (revert per BLP--this text suggests sources say things they do not to cast a living person in a negative light. it is a textbook poorly sourced negative entry, which is a textbook BLP violation.) (undo)
  • (cur) (last) 11:35, 16 May 2008 Spook4Hire (Talk | contribs) (48,131 bytes) (change to "considered by many to be a terrorist" in order to address intelguy's BLP concerns) (undo)
  • (cur) (last) 11:33, 16 May 2008 CocaineImportAgent (Talk | contribs) (48,117 bytes) (rv no BLP violation has been substantiated in talk; this is notable criticism from notable organizations that IntelGuy is disruptively censoring. IntelGuy please see WP:DE!) (undo)
  • (cur) (last) 11:31, 16 May 2008 IntelGuy (Talk | contribs) (46,589 bytes) (revert BLP violation) (undo)
  • (cur) (last) 11:19, 16 May 2008 CocaineImportAgent (Talk | contribs) (48,117 bytes) (restore legitimate and well-sourced section on notable criticism) (undo)
  • (cur) (last) 11:01, 16 May 2008 IntelGuy (Talk | contribs) (46,528 bytes) (reverting per BLP. another 6 FBI references do not address my concerns. It still says "bin Ladin is considered a terrorist." There is still no consensus for this negative info in a Biography of Living Persons) (undo)
  • (cur) (last) 10:46, 16 May 2008 Spook4Hire (Talk | contribs) (47,990 bytes) (-->Allegations of Terrorism) (undo)

Wikipedia has a screenshot (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757071)

and a lot more detail [wikipedia.org]. The screenshot is the only place where the URL is listed (https://www.intelink.gov/wiki), and you'll need a username and password to get in. I'll leave that part up to you =)

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757271)

Bugmenot?

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757863)

You couldn't be bothered to type that into your Google search [google.com] box rather than the reply box? No wonder you are posting AC.

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23758133)

Note the times, genius.

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (1)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757347)

Why is an internal intelligence network accessible from the internet? Is that like a 'lite' version of it or what?

I could swear the CIA had laws about separating their network from the internet. I mean for obvious reasons!

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757501)

I think TFASummary covers that one - it's "heavily used by analysts," and I'd assume those analysts don't have access to the super-secret intranets.

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757583)

If you read the wikipedia article, you'd know that there is an Unclassified version of the wiki on the unclassified network. That is what that picture is of, if you read the screenie you'll see "The accredited security level of this system is: UNCLASSIFIED" at the top of the page.

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757849)

Oh, they're hoping foreign powers will break into that version because it contains bogus information. The REAL intellpedia is at https://2#$!@#$^ !901309-=8
NO CARRIER

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (1)

qzulla (600807) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758537)

It is air gapped. Where did you see it is accessible from the internet in the article?

The wikis are not open to the public.

Maybe this was it. The entry is not accurate. Imagine that!

Those networks are nowhere near the public networks.

'Nuff said.

qz

of course (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757391)

should a 'terrorist' gain access, they could change stuff to what they want... and if there really is a 'public' login page with no other restrictions than a uid/pwd, that's pretty damn weak already. and the government is notorious for having security problems, there's usually a story a month here on /. and i've seen more than a few on various militaries.

of course, the CIA would expect this and maybe it's just a honeypot.

i really don't know how people do this line of work without becoming obsessive-compulsive-paranoid.

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (5, Interesting)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757589)

Well, this is interesting. Their login page doesn't escape anything when displaying your entered username back to you if it's invalid, so any HTML/Javascript could be injected. Try for yourself, enter this as the username:

"><script>alert(document.cookie);</script><input type="hidden" "

The requests are blocked if they don't have a valid request ID, so you don't seem to be able send people to the page and have it load a script that will steal their cookies or whatever, but it's still a little disturbing to see that even this much is possible.

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757943)

I was going to mod you up, but it appears that all my mod points (I had four left) are now gone! That's a pretty interesting "coincidence", isn't it? And why is your post already at "Score: 1"? Did they already get to you? Hmmmm?

CowboyNeal, we demand answers!

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757953)

I'll leave that up to you. I wouldn't want to get noticed for trying an injection attack on a .gov address.

So? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758515)

You can inject HTML or JavaScript [mozilla.org] or CSS [mozilla.org] into any page without having to trick the remote server into doing it for you.

Re:So? (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758575)

If the server didn't check the request ID then you wouldn't just be able to inject it into your own page, but anyone's. If you have someone who has cookies logged into the site (assuming they don't authenticate based on IP as well or something) then if you can have them load a specially-crafted page you could inject Javascript which would gather their cookies and send them to you, potentially allowing you to long in to their account.

Again, it doesn't seem to be exploitable here, but it's still interesting.

Re:Wikipedia has a screenshot (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757763)

hmm username/passwords isn't working maybe ill try 1234/pass, *knocking at door*, nothing to see here people.

Remember, this is the CIA we're talking about (1, Funny)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757107)

"This has enforced a degree of collegiality amongst colleagues," Dennehy noted. "Now when you see someone that makes an edit to a page you are contributing to, you can look back and see where this person works, where their interests lie, making us a community of analysts rather than a community of agencies."
Yeah, right, 'collegiality'. That bit about seeing 'where a person works and where their interests lie' sounds a lot like a threat to me.

Don't edit my Intellipedia article, college boy. I can kill a man with my thumb and I know where you work.

workers can debate different intel information (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757147)

And make each other insane in an orgy of ever perpetuating intel paranoia.

Their paranoia is, "If we cane make up these insane monstrous plots then others will too".

Obligatory: The CIA wants you to believe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757287)

The CIA wants you to believe that wiki is safe and secure. Sure it is. The CIA does "wiki", so it must be secure. Other organizations -- FSB, PLA,
DGSE, Mossad, and the entire Fortune 500 -- should all adopt wikis. It'll be great. Everyone will be really productive and secure.

But what if wiki isn't secure? What if MediaWiki has security holes? What if wikis make it is easier to spy? What if the CIA wants a backdoor into FSB, PLA, DGSE, Mossad, and the entire Fortune 500? Then what? HUH?!

IT'S CIA SUBTERFUGE! WATCH OUT! OMG! PSYCH! OMG! WATCH OUT! IT'S CIA SUBTERFUGE!

I'M POSTING ANONYMOUSLY FOR OBVIOUS REASONS!!!

Re:Obligatory: The CIA wants you to believe... (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757753)

The CIA wants you to believe that wiki is safe and secure. Sure it is. The CIA does "wiki", so it must be secure. Other organizations -- FSB, PLA, DGSE, Mossad, and the entire Fortune 500 -- should all adopt wikis. It'll be great. Everyone will be really productive and secure. But what if wiki isn't secure? What if MediaWiki has security holes? What if wikis make it is easier to spy? What if the CIA wants a backdoor into FSB, PLA, DGSE, Mossad, and the entire Fortune 500? Then what? HUH?!


Chill. First off MediaWiki is open-source so if you are so paranoid just look up the source code. If we are on the topic of security whats to say that the CIA hasn't already broken many encryption schemes used today? It is a lot more probable that the CIA has busted encryption algorithms then it is that they are injecting backdoors to open-source projects.

Re:Obligatory: The CIA wants you to believe... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758147)

I'M POSTING ANONYMOUSLY FOR OBVIOUS REASONS!!
We know who you are.

Thanks,
The Spooks.
Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

get someone killed? (1)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757345)

afraid it would get someone killed? Since when does the CIA care if they get someone killed. The CIA is probably directly responsible for several thousand deaths. let's not split any hairs here.

Re:get someone killed? (1)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757683)

It depends on who is killed. The correct statement would probably be more like "you're going to get one of our own killed". I do not believe the CIA subscribes to the philosophy that all life is of equal value.

So... Wikipedia and Intellipedia... (4, Funny)

jesdynf (42915) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757351)

One's run by a shadowy cabal not obviously accountable to any authority... ... do I have to spell this one out?

Everybody's doing it. (2, Interesting)

tripmine (1160123) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757451)

The article makes it seem like Intellipedia is a CIA only thing. It's actually under the umbrella of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It was designed so that all the intelligence agencies would know what the hell is going on, and coordinate to keep shit like 9/11 from happening.
Like always, the mother of all wiki's [wikipedia.org] provides plenty of information on the subject. (and even a screenshot!)

I can only imagine the articles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757453)

Bin Laden ON WHEELS!!!

huge gain in efficiency gathering data (1)

davejenkins (99111) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757473)

Heh-- back in the day when I did some security work, I used to tell my friends in the skiff that something like this would be a great way to gather together information. It was early on then, and it wasn't CIA, so I guess I missed out.

I do know that it's a great tool for an intranet-- especially when there are disparate sources from separated teams. The only common conduit they have is the common information. The best thing about a wiki as we all know-- and thank God the CIA gets this: is that file structures or directory trees or some sort of knowledge branching CANNOT be imposed from above-- it can be suggested, but the community must sort that out for themselves.

With security and foreign threat information evolving and devolving so rapdily, such knowledge organization must be very fluid and not dogmatic. A wiki is a great medium to provide this.

Hmm.. (3, Funny)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757573)

Intellipedia has been expanded since it was first launched so that now it boasts its own YouTube-like channel for video
In unrelated news Rick Astley was arrested last night on suspicion of masterminding terrorist attacks against a number of US intelligence agencies.

All that needs said (5, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757579)

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Ashes-History-Tim-Weiner/dp/038551445X [amazon.com]

Legacy of Ashes, listening to this in the car right now. Holy shit, the way the CIA operates, it reminds me of my time at a dot.com. Seriously. You have these unwarranted and outsized egos combined with dick-all knowledge of espionage and intelligence-gathering. The same pitiful fuck story that we've read about with Iraq is pretty much the way the CIA operated throughout its entire existence.

Just reading about the idiots in charge is enough to make my teeth hurt. I worked for exactly the same sort of people at dot.coms but hey, ignorance and hubris don't get people killed in the dot.com world. In the spy world, having Soviet agents throughout your organization feeding secrets back home will get people killed. We sent in thousands of agents to infiltrate Soviet-occupied Europe, Korea, China, all of them killed because our organization was compromised. We parachute people in, the secret police are waiting for them on the ground. We get top-level moles in the USSR? Fucking American turncoats sell them out and they get the firing squad. And the CIA directors continue to lie to the President, not that presidents throughout the Cold War were going to disagree when they were told exactly what they asked to hear instead of what they needed to hear, etc etc.

Our government is so fucking incompetent, it's almost like the Russians deserved to win. Our only saving grace was that the Soviet system was more hatefully backward and ignorant than the one we were running. Since the fall of the USSR, our government seems to be desperately seeking to close the stupidity gap.

Some Current Posts (4, Funny)

copponex (13876) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757593)

Iran has in the past contacted people who have also been monitored to have visited a nuclear facility in Pakistan. Recommend making diplomatic contact to get some more intel. (fieldofficerfred 8/23/99, imported from file)

Anyone? Need some direction on this. (fieldofficerfred 9/8/00, imported from file)

Hello? (fieldofficerfred 2/23/01, imported from file)

We're listening. How can we make this suit our needs? (pwolfawitz, rrumsfeld, dcheney 9/10/01, imported from file)

Saddam's a softer target. Hang on. (dcheney 10/25/02, imported from file)

Saddam? Iran is refining uranium! With all due repsect, what the fuck are you guys thinking? (fieldofficerfred 11/26/02, imported from file)

Don't question my authority to not know what I may or may not know that I know. You're fired. (rrumsfeld 1/8/03, imported from file)

Hey, did you guys know Iran was refining uranium? (rrumsfeld (deprecated) 11/16/07)

Iran has offered to accept the delivery of peaceful fissile material and a shutdown of their own refineries in exchange for guarantees from Europe that they won't allow the US to attack them. (gathered from the AP 5/2/08)

Disregard that. We will not allow Europe to negotiate with extremists on the other side. Iran is the greatest threat to America and the known universe, second only to waxy buildup and auto erotic asphyxiation. (dcheney 5/4/08)

Iran continues to refine uranium as they see it as their only diplomatic leverage and hope to prevent the United States from invading. (gathered from the AP 5/29/08)

IRAN HAS NUKES. [citation needed] JESUS TOLD ME TO ATTACK AT DAWN!!!!!!!!1111 [citation needed] (gwbush 8/5/08)

Mer mer mer attack at dawn, mer mer mer. (dcheney 8/5/08)

Re:Some Current Posts (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23758191)

Are you on The Sarah Connor Chronicles?

If not, how do you explain that you are FROM THE FUTURE?

wiki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757691)

on the note of using wiki for intelligence, there should be a wiki to track computer security issues. maybe you can make some money putting one together.

Feedback format (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23757825)

Those guys should totally use a slashdot style feedback scheme so they can know if the posts are informative, insightful, or better yet, funny!

Anonymous coward name redacted

What's next..... (2, Funny)

george929a (760601) | more than 5 years ago | (#23757931)


    CIAleakie - to post 'lost' secrets.

    Wikillyou - where assassins can discuss tricks of the trade.

Of course they were called traitors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23758339)

It is a well-known fact that Wikipedia is communism, and we freedom-loving Americans can't have such filth infiltrating our government.

The Control of Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23758351)

No doubt, those higher in this organization, like any other, were upset at such a tool because it potentially decreases the amount of control they have and therefore threatens their (probably inflated) value. So, with the success of the system one can only surmise that they figured out how to re-insert themselves back into the power control framework, and now take credit for being such "leaders".

While the following phrase doesn't apply 100% to the situation at such a government agency, it likely has some close parallel:

The captains of industry love to be portrayed as freedom loving risk takers, when in fact they are risk averse control freaks.
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