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CIA Officers Are Warming To Intellipedia

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the i'm-warming-a-turkey-sandwich dept.

Government 102

Hugh Pickens writes "The CIA is adopting Web 2.0 tools like collaborative wikis but not without a struggle in an agency with an ingrained culture of secrecy. 'We're still kind of in this early adoptive stage,' says Sean Dennehy, a CIA analyst and self-described 'evangelist' for Intellipedia, the US intelligence community's version of the popular user-curated online encyclopedia Wikipedia adding that 'trying to implement these tools in the intelligence community is basically like telling people that their parents raised them wrong. It is a huge cultural change.' Dennehy says Intellipedia, which runs on secure government intranets and is used by 16 US intelligence agencies, was started as a pilot project in 2005 and now has approximately 100,000 user accounts and gets about 4,000 edits a day. 'Some people have (supported it) but there's still a lot of other folks kind of sitting on the fence.' Dennehy says wikis are 'a challenge to our culture because we grew up in this kind of "need to know" culture and now we need a balance between "need to know" and "need to share."' A desire to compartamentalize information is another problem. 'Inevitably, every person, the first question we were asked is "How do I lock down a page?" or "How do I lock down a page so that just my five colleagues can access that?"' The growth of Intellipedia has so far largely been fueled by early adopters and enthusiasts says Chris Rasmussen, a social-software knowledge manager and trainer at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. 'We are struggling to take it to the next level.'"

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Posting (2, Funny)

c00rdb (945666) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334761)

Posting to undo accidental mod

Re:Posting (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334979)

Posting to undo accidental mod

Uhh, yeah, except you're the first post. Unless I'm missing something, there was nothing here for you to moderate.

Re:Posting (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337201)

It was preemptive action. Like Iraq.

Re:Posting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337803)

shock and awe?

Re:Posting (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335037)

> Posting to undo accidental mod
Let's think about that. You're the first post. Who did you mod?

This is mysterious. I'm guessing there's some steganographic message here about a sting axe and the Talmud.

Login information (4, Funny)

Alystair (617164) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334875)

Huh, seems I've lost my Intellipedia credentials, anyone feel like sharing their account?

Re:Login information (2, Funny)

Alystair (617164) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334977)

Scratch that, I logged in under Dick Cheney. His password hint was "but I swear it was in self-defense"

Re:Login information (0, Troll)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339359)

I logged in as Obama using the password "MuslimNation"

Re:Login information (1)

jambox (1015589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335639)

User = jack.bauer password = isgoingtokillyou

Re:Login information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337413)

Your article was about to get CSD A7'd, but now there's a citation!

What happens when it's hacked? (1)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334915)

I know, lets put all our information on 10's of thousands of people, in a single database for easy access, nothing can go wrong... No one has USB's or anything, and everyone of our many employees is trustworthy...

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334947)

This is probably just for non-sensitive information.

Presumably CIA employees know about things like watermarking [wikipedia.org] , so they'd be stupid to copy and spread information.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (5, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334997)

No, it's for anything up to the classification of the network, and this resides on Secret and Top Secret networks. It's no more dangerous than the terabytes of classified information that already reside on these intranets.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (2, Funny)

infolation (840436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339517)

Presumably CIA employees know about things like watermarking

That would be waterboarding

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (2, Interesting)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335073)

The way that much of the info is protected is that networked computers containing classified info are encripted which makes hacking them usless, also USB ports are disabled along with all other writing devices. I'm by no means saying that it would be 100% secure but you will always give up security once you start adding users.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (2, Funny)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336859)

Tell me about it. My terminal at Langley doesn't even HAVE a USB port. It's got a 3.5" floppy drive and this old 21" CRT. About the only perk is that I have the room all to myself and I get this cool chair that kind of swings out without touching the floor.

brb, there's some sort of noise in the a/c duct

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

pete_norm (150498) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337937)

Watch out for falling knives...

Intellipedia is not domestic... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335089)

You can't store information on American citizens in that kind of network. It's not a "database on 10's of thousands" of people. Think of it more as short useless summary articles on topics like Iraq, Afganistan, insurgent groups, etc. No domestic info at all, by design.

Additionally, Intellipedia is TS (well, there's a TS version that is used primarily, and a SECRET version that is not used nearly as much), but not SCI (meaning, none of the really high level intelligence. TOP SECRET is _fairly common_ access). If somebody is able to read Intellipedia as a spy, you've got much bigger problems that any information they would get from Intellipedia. A later post whined about compartmented information--there is NO compartmented information on Intellipedia.

Also, Chris Rasmussen is the genius who is trying to introduce twitter to the intelligence analysis community. Apparently he wants to reduce the productivity of intel even further!

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335193)

I'm kind of hoping this is some billion dollar counter-intelligence initiative. All the "sensitive" information on this site will have just enough truth to be dangerously false.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (4, Informative)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335271)

For starters, USB devices are no longer allowed on any DOD networks, [slashdot.org] due to a worm appearing on unclassified military networks(separate from the classified networks).

Second, Intellipedia is separated by classification of the given network [wikipedia.org] , and is not on a single network. So the data may be important, but does not necessarily constitute "exceptionally grave damage" [wikipedia.org] if leaked.

Third, it's a lot of data so unless a spy or mole was only taking certain entries it would be difficult to take all of it not only in one drive but at once.

Fourth, since the intelligence community is warming to it(yes, sometimes some of them are bumbling idiots), analysts have muddled the concept of Intellepidia, written reports and debated the subject with leadership. If it was such a terrible idea it would have gotten the axe by now. [wikipedia.org]

Fifth, stealing data from outside a classified DOD network is terribly hard. Having a clearance means that the DOD thinks a given person is trustworthy, so unless a person decides to become a spy there is no way it's getting out.

Also, Intellipedia covers a multitude of subjects, not just people.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1, Flamebait)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335327)

Fifth, stealing data from outside a classified DOD network is terribly hard. Having a clearance means that the DOD thinks a given person is trustworthy, so unless a person decides to become a spy there is no way it's getting out.

That is the worst kind of hubris. Have you not been watching news over the past several weeks?

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

SchizoStatic (1413201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335731)

I have and the only thing "hacked" was T-Mobile

Citation needed

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (0)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335829)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8086547.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Because I like BBC...

I think it's very dangerous to think that your data is safe simply because your data transport is deemed safe.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

SchizoStatic (1413201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336033)

Okay, but how is this "prideful"? To use a wiki style system to relate info back and forth? The previous methods were just as open to an insider to steal information. As stated in the links above. They do not store top level security information on this system.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336143)

No, what's prideful was the OP's 5th point saying how hard it was to steal from a classified network--has nothing to do with the security of yet another website on a classified intranet. I take the viewpoint that it's always better to be vigilant in terms of network security. just because the tubes are supposed to be secure and the users are supposed to be sure doesn't mean that's always true. FWIW, the creators and maintainers of Intellipedia seem to agree with this--Intellipedia is not allowed to contain highly protected intelligence information (you say this too--I'm just noting it to point out we agree)

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28342519)

Nah, I was generalizing because the OP to my post started on the whole USB thing with no mention of the fact that USB devices are no longer allowed. It just sounded like typical Slashrant(TM, patents pending). I was pressed for time when I wrote it as I had to get my clearance over to the ship I went to today :D

If I had further time I would have accounted for the possibility that an skilled person with physical access could easily reactivate USB access for a given terminal. Furthermore, I would have also addressed that it would be possible if the keys to the multiple layers of encryption were compromised it would then be possible to gain access to a classified network, however extremely unlikely - just to re-enforce that the only likely scenario is via spies and moles with physical access. I would never suggest that classified networks are completely secure, I merely wanted to reinforce that the idea of external access to said networks is extremely unlikely.

I'm quite aware of how such classified(as in above sensitive, FOUO and the like) data is leaked, and it is almost - if not entirely - via cleared personnel who have gone 'rogue'. I failed in re-enforcing that, but I most certainly delineated that the "unless a person decides to become a spy" part is essential to the majority if not all of the espionage cases.

As an aside, I've also been accused of being wordy and unclear in my writing... :D

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335755)

That is the worst kind of hubris. Have you not been watching news over the past several weeks?

Furthermore, why not pronounce "hubris" like "debris"? I think it would make the word more fun.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (3, Funny)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335917)

You're right. The CIA should stop using computers.

If anything needs to be written down, it should be on paper, in invisible ink.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335955)

Little bit of a non-sequitur there!

Caution and vigilance and keeping people educated about security issues is something that is smart for ANY job and ANY network. I like my banks to be careful with my information, for instance...doesn't mean that I don't use online banking.

While pithy, your comment is offtopic and nonsensical.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337813)

Actually, you are offtopic.

Yes, any data in a computer is potentially subject to unauthorized access.
Yes, inter-agency networking probably increase that risk somewhat.

But this debate is *not* about whether the CIA should be sharing intel.
Experience has proven that sharing is very necessary.

This is about changing the default attitude toward inter-agency sharing. Some things need to be kept secret (identity of sources, etc.). But most things don't. This is about changing from a default of "keep everything secret from everyone" to a default of "share with other agencies unless there is a good reason not to".

i.e. "need to know" vs. "need to share"..

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338209)

Uhh, I'm not sure if you missed a post or are looking at the thread out of order or something, but the only thing I replied to in this thread was:

Fifth, stealing data from outside a classified DOD network is terribly hard. Having a clearance means that the DOD thinks a given person is trustworthy, so unless a person decides to become a spy there is no way it's getting out.

You may be trying to make some greater overarching point out of that statement, but thats not what I was saying. Anything else you think I'm saying about sharing being bad (??) is purely in your imagination/interpretation I'm afraid...

I suppose it's asking too much to ask where you think I'm claiming anything else??

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338229)

You're not Need to Share, not Need to Know guy, are you?

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338397)

Huh??

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338813)

Nevermind, I was just curious... I thought I might have personally insulted you.

Re:What happens when it's hacked? (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337019)

For starters, USB devices are no longer allowed on any DOD networks

So they were hit by the Windows "Autorun from USB" idiocy too? Serves them right...

Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (0)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334927)

The reason you compartmentalize information is so that it can't all be lost in one well swoop. Now, with intellipedia, someone makes a copy of it, loses it, and boom, all the work product of the CIA would wind up on the internet. I would predict that this is inevitable.

Re:Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (4, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335045)

It's classified information on classified networks. We've been doing this for ages, so it's not like we don't know how to handle it. USB ports are closed off on classified machines, distribution is limited, and the only people how have access are those who go through rigorous background checks. The checks in place to prevent unauthorized disclosure have worked in the past and there's really nothing different about this. What's the problem?

Re:Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335479)

It's classified information on classified networks. We've been doing this for ages,

Sounds like it is classified information from many different programs on a single classified network, in a single database. We definitely have not been doing THAT for years.

Even if you want to sneaker-net information from one program's classified network to another program's classified network it requires a bunch of "security logistics." You might get lucky and after a year or two get all the security officers involved to come up with a plan to connect the networks of a handful of programs, as long as there was still significant access control (like no cross-program accounts without need to know vetting and specific inter-connect points with limited functionality - like file-drops but no end-to-end tcp/ip).

Re:Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (2, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335757)

Sounds like it is classified information from many different programs on a single classified network, in a single database.

No, it's two different wiki pages in two different classified networks that are not connected. Moving info from one to the other is no different than moving it in the past. Just like Wikipedia, it's a website on a network.

Re:Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336305)

No, it's two different wiki pages in two different classified networks ... it's a website on a network.

Which is it? Different websites on different networks or a website on a network?

If its the former, then what's the improvement and why the reported worry that the first question from "everyone" is how do they control access?

Re:Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (4, Insightful)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335167)

Thank you (and many others on these boards) for distributing the FUD.

As I hope we all have learned by now, information that is "compartmentalized" is far less valuable. Little bits of data from disparate sources can reveal patterns that those gathering the intelligence would miss.

And IMHO, paranoia about employees "stealing" information should not stand in the way of increasing the efficiency of intelligence gathering and analysis.

Re:Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (2, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336753)

Its not simply FUD. Increased efficiency for data retrieval rubs both ways. If its easier to get data out of the system for the good guy, its easy to get data out of the system for the turn coat.

Yes, its probably a great idea to make a lot of intelligence data easier to access in general, and I'll assume the system fully logs all dat accesses and makes note of unnecessary information retrievals.

Paranoia justified in the spy business. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337801)

And IMHO, paranoia about employees "stealing" information should not stand in the way of increasing the efficiency of intelligence gathering and analysis.

This is the spy business we're talking about... imagine, if you will, if any of the following had access to the total USA "spy-o-pedia":

Harold Nicholson
Robert Philip Hanssen
Aldrich Ames
David Boone
Christopher Boyce
Thomas Cavanaugh
Lona Cohen
George Trofimoff
John Walker
Jerry Whitworth

I mean, there's plenty more...

Re:Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (2, Informative)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335217)

Btw, I hate to be a nazi, but it's fell swoop and not well swoop. Fell as in deadly.

Re:Intellipedia surfaces on a laptop... (0, Redundant)

jcwayne (995747) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338117)

Your use of "and" is redundant, therefore unnecessary.

Kind of Surprising (4, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334969)

CIA is about the last agency I'd suspect of trying this. I use Intellipedia at work, and have been trying to advocate its use more, but like TFS said, most people in the IC talk about "need to know", not "need to share." There's a lot of products that really should just be pages on Intellipedia, like biographies on important people, but instead are powerpoint slides on someone's hard drive. Meanwhile, multiple commands are tracking the same people but aren't sharing info on those bios. I think we'll see more progress on this as senior leadership move out and people who grew up on Web 2.0 move up.

Re:Kind of Surprising (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335221)

It sounds like there's no way around their need for fine grained access control.

What would probably help would be to set it up so that if you were trying to edit an entry related to a topic and someone else already has their own version to give you a message saying "Another user already has an entry on this topic. Would you like to send a request to compare notes?"

Although I guess having the ability to check if something is in the namespace might be exploitable.

Maybe what they really need is Intellitwitter. You transmit the name of whoever you're investigating and other people who are following that name get pinged with a request to compare notes. Plus you might be able to get some social network analysis out of it. You could see when a certain name keeps coming up and that might be important. Or maybe two names are repeatedly used together.

Of course all of this should be caveated with my opinion that any system needs to include deep safeguards against abuse. That should be a primary concern of any design.

Re:Kind of Surprising (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335285)

CIA is about the last agency I'd suspect of trying this. I use Intellipedia at work

That's interesting. You apparently had no idea that CIA started, funded, and makes far more edits than any other intelligence organization? Maybe you should know a little more about the tools you use before spouting ridiculous comments.

People like you were one of the prime reasons I left intelligence. It was so damn tribal. You ever try taking a look at what agencies make the most changes to wikipedia--take a look at the specific updates by a couple agencies in specific (defense, satellites mostly). Those two like to complain about cia the most, yet when you look at what content they upload, a very large percentage is just old intranet homepages ported over to a wiki...same stovepipe, same protection of data, etc. Of course the easiest thing to do is not work on IMPROVING analysis and IMPROVING data collection, but to bitch about other government employees.

Additionally, it's all great for the people who spend all day hanging out in the jabber talk channels to brag about number of edits, etc, but why don't you share what percentage of edits are done to users' homepages? How many hours spent designing new badges and updating their homepage pictures. (A certain people mentioned the in summary above are infamous in the for how much time he spends updating his personal page, and uploading new pictures and articles about himself).

Need to know is about compartmentalization and saving lives, not about an inter-agency pissing match.

Re:Kind of Surprising (2, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335415)

First of all, the CIA has a terrible reputation within the IC for not sharing info even with those who need to know, regardless of how many edits they make to Intellipedia. They demand everyone give them info, and return nothing. I've worked with them a few times directly, and they are the absolute worst at stove-piping. In fact, I have not heard a single positive comment about the CIA from anyone not at the CIA. And I actually work on a project devoted to sharing info throughout the IC, and CIA isn't involved, while dozens of other intel agencies and other commands are. So keep bitching about other people bitching. And maybe you should get a clue yourself.

Re:Kind of Surprising (5, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335463)

See, that's the exact type of comment I'm talking about...you admit you didn't have a clue about how Intellipedia works or who has provided the most information to it, and then you go on a rant about CIA. I'm guessing you're defense from the words you use, because I've heard it all a thousand times before. Maybe time for some introspection in ALL parties of the IC. These kinds of pissing matches are riduclous and quite frankly DANGEROUS to national security and a waste of taxpayer money.

"CIA reputation in the IC" ... "they demand" ... "absolute worst" ... "not a single positive comment"

I absolutely stand by my tribal statement and I think you back it up pretty damn well. There's always a lot of jealousy, anger, and pettiness out there, and it frankly got unbearable. You just keep going propagating stories about how horrible CIA is and how everybody hates them (let me guess--you've worked in intel 1-3 years tops?) and then give yourself a big pat on the back for how you're improving work relations between IC agencies by hanging out on a chat channel and editing your intellipedia userpage.

Re:Kind of Surprising (4, Funny)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335481)

And now I'm only semi-AC! :-P

Re:Kind of Surprising (1)

Like2Byte (542992) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336153)

And now I'm only semi-AC! :-P

Don't you mean, "Outed field-agent"?

Re:Kind of Surprising (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336257)

Heh, I wish (in my experience the people out in the field were the ones who liked their jobs the best, and had to deal with the least politicking bullshit). They're technically not supposed to use internet boards at all. Intelligence/analysis/government employ was a terrible fit for me and I would not recommend it for most people. Can believe it or not (obviously)

Re:Kind of Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28340525)

No way, that's not true at all! We can use internet boards all we wa#$@*^%^ CARRIER LOST

Re:Kind of Surprising (4, Interesting)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336215)

I've worked in the IC for 12 years now, and have worked directly with the CIA more than once. I've seen their stove-piping firsthand and had to deal with their demands and their refusal to share what we needed for crucial operations. I was the one giving info we had to them, and they were the ones being tribal and not sharing just for the sake of not sharing. When asked a question, these clowns would all look at each other, one would shake their head, then they would say No, they didn't have anything, when it was obvious they did and obvious we had a need to know. And this is not uncommon behavior from them. I'd love to share more war stories, but I'm kind of limited on what I can say here.

then give yourself a big pat on the back for how you're improving work relations between IC agencies by hanging out on a chat channel and editing your intellipedia userpage

OK, troll, I never said anything about a chat channel or what if anything I personally edit. Read my posts. Or better yet, get the aforementioned clue.

Re:Kind of Surprising (2, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336551)

Like I said the IC needs some major introspection in ALL of its part. I quite frankly find your very obvious anger and loathing very unfortunate. When you go around trashing your fellow-IC mates, I absolutely do have a problem with that. Like I said--I quit, I didn't like the job and I didn't like the tribalism. I've never once claimed CIA is perfect on anything...far from it. The sorry bottom line is this...how many people work in the IC? I think that's technically classified and I don't really know, but let's say 100k+ for the hell of it. Some people are going to get shafted. You can't have that many people all happy and all having equal input. IMHO there's far too much duplication of effort, and my solution would be to fire the majority of people.

I know your organization always feels shafted, and maybe it shouldn't be--I know. When I talk about tribalism, it DOES go both ways, because your org has a certain reputation as well (if you're where I'm guessing you are). I actually have several friends who started at your place several years after I started my job...would you believe that things on a personal level got strained after they started? It's that fucking ludicrous.

I can tell you one thing, and I'm absolutely serious about this. If you really want to be part of changing things, maybe you should stop being so partisan about your organization and so slanderous of cia. Who cares if you have valid points, it's utterly unprofessional and does nothing but REINFORCE tribalism on both sides. You can help take one of the first steps by not being an ass to people with the same job as you, regardless of how they act...

OK, troll, I never said anything about a chat channel or what if anything I personally edit. Read my posts. Or better yet, get the aforementioned clue.

So you're saying you DON'T use jabber chat and DON'T edit your iped userpage?

Re:Kind of Surprising (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337071)

When I talk about tribalism, it DOES go both ways, because your org has a certain reputation as well (if you're where I'm guessing you are)

1. You have no idea where I am. Guess all you want. And if you're trying to guess from my posts, you're probably wrong
2. My first post merely stated surprise that the CIA was coming on board. You then said some very nasty things accusing me of bitching. YOU are the one bitching. YOU are the one laying down hate and blaming everyone for all the problems in the world. YOU are the one who is disgruntled and clearly needs some closure or something. Leave me out of it.

So you're saying you DON'T use jabber chat and DON'T edit your iped userpage?

First of all, this is entirely irrelevant and just shows you want to bitch regardless if there's something worth complaining about. In any case, I do not use any jabber clients. No one with whom I have to coordinate uses jabber. We have MS Office Communicator, email, phones, and our portal. I can get a hold of anyone I want through one or more of these means, and thousands of other people can contact me. And I do not edit my user page any more often than once a year.

Re:Kind of Surprising (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337315)

1. You have no idea where I am. Guess all you want. And if you're trying to guess from my posts, you're probably wrong

Ok, that's fine, I understand you can't/don't want to say (and I wouldn't ask) but hey, I had a what, 1/14 chance of getting it right? Probably more like 1/6 when you exclude the agencies who don't really care about CIA ;-) My friends I referenced were at DIA.

2. My first post merely stated surprise that the CIA was coming on board. You then said some very nasty things accusing me of bitching. YOU are the one bitching. YOU are the one laying down hate and blaming everyone for all the problems in the world. YOU are the one who is disgruntled and clearly needs some closure or something. Leave me out of it.

You're absolutely right that I'm bitching about the tribalism in the IC--100% true. What "hate" am I laying down and what "blame" am I laying down for all the problems in the world? I have been very, very specific. I think the agency-partisanship and tribalism in the IC is very detrimental to national security, I think it's ineffective, and I think it has a ton of waste. I think people that are willing--on an open forum on the internet to rant about another IC agency (please see your second post in this thread if you want to see EXACTLY what I'm talking)--are part of the problem of the IC, and not part of the solution. I'm not making any greater claims than that so please stop the hyperbole.

You starting off a post with the very first sentence that says "CIA is about the last agency I'd suspect of trying this." Was so typical of what I remember. You didn't know the first thing about the history or admin or iped, yet you take it as an opportunity to go out of your way to insult another IC org. So yes, I do have a problem with that...I'm sorry if you take that as more than it is.

And I do completely apologize for the slander of accusing you of using jabber and working on your iped user page. I was wrong! You might try the jabber client (though I wouldn't recommend hanging out with the iped people)--it was cool, and a couple of orgs have switched over to using it entirely. Mine was not (though we had it available) and I guess you don't have it.

YOU are the one who is disgruntled and clearly needs some closure or something. Leave me out of it.

There are a lot of disgruntled people in the IC--I'm thankfully no longer one of them!

Re:Kind of Surprising (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28340833)

This is awesome, let me know when the fight scene between you two is k?

How about some spoilers: will there be Bond references?

Ooh, I can't wait.

Re:Kind of Surprising (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28341049)

Heh yeah... it's (obviously) something I still feel passionately about.

Just really reinforced to me that I am not equipped to work for the government. Some good benefits yes, but sooo much hierarchy, inter-department, inter-agency sniping, politicking, not to mention the military vs civilian hierarchies which gave many agencies VERY different atmospheres.

I actually think that is part of the reason why some Intelligence people don't like cia ... did you know that there is a table of rank equivalence for GS pay scales? That is, if you work for the government and you are paid according to the GS scale [wikipedia.org] as a GS-12 you're supposed to be treated like a lieutenant [I'm not sure that's the exact translation..but something like that]. How ludicrous that your pay grade is supposed to determine protocol.

Whenever I read articles on slashdot about NSA, CIA, etc I just have to shake my head...if only more people knew what 99% of those agencies were like...

(Sorry to let you down...no Bond references...there might be a super secret spy catfish [securityfocus.com] though!)

Re:Kind of Surprising (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28341019)

I've worked at several places both in the Marine Corps and as a contractor, and they all suck in different ways. The CIA is the absolute worst in so many ways, and I don't feel bad one bit saying it. DIA sucks in its own special way, as does the command for which I work (though I love my job). I fail to see how my pointing out how bad the CIA sucks makes me part of the problem of why other places suck too. I don't see my pointing out CIA's problems as being tribal. I am not saying my command is the epitome of awesomeness (as do some here who have had too much Kool Aid). I am merely pointing what I think is true. They suck.

I have tried a few jabber clients, and taught Psi for a while. I'm not entirely thrilled with any of them yet. Not enough people on them to make it worthwhile and no easy way to browse for someone.

Re:Kind of Surprising (1)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337009)

Although, by propagating rumors and ideas that such agencies are terrible and useless, it can help influence other people not to take them seriously and thus let them operate more efficiently and suffer from less attacks. The unseen or underestimated enemy is the most effective after all.

Re:Kind of Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337977)

I think we'll see more progress on this as senior leadership move out and people who grew up on Web 2.0 move up.

How long has "Web 2.0" been around (if it's possible to actually say)? How long does it take to move up to positions of authority in the CIA? How many decades are we looking at then? Good luck.

No, really, best of luck.

Just saying.....

Re:Kind of Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338043)

I think the leadership that has been slowly retiring over the last few years actually really did "get it" on collaboration. Particularly those in ODNI and with NSC responsibilities. I would hypothesize that the GS 15's & 14's are the real problem (mid-late career beaurocrats who can't think outside the box). They are typically the ones who get lost in turf battles between organizations while exhibiting stove-pipe-blindedness. The executive leadership are far more concerned with getting usable data that they need to make informed decisions, regardless of the TLA of the source be it ODNI or .mil.

The comments here are are hilarious for their know-it-all ignorance of the IC, security, etc. I may not be nominated for DDNI anytime soon, but I'm familiar enough to laugh at the people in the tinfoil hats. Also at the cheerleaders for their particular organizations losing sight of the big picture.

Re:Kind of Surprising (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338231)

My experience with Intellipedia is just a way to expose information about specific programs across multiple agencies, without too many program details. This is different than pages always being about specific places or specific people, this is about detailing various goings on in various compartamentalized environments.

There are always people within the various organizations and agencies that work on almost the exact same thing... but have no idea that they work on the exact same thing. Hell, there are people within the same organization that do not know that they work on the same stuff as the people sitting in the cubicles one floor down. It's a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. Even if some pages are imported powerpoints to wiki pages, the exposure they get increases exponentially.

So, (again, my experience) Intellipedia has turned into a few agencies political tool, a way to expose programs and projects across the IC. Get exposure to your project, get other people using the tools you develop by posting the type of tools and the type of data that you work on (which in some cases is what is classified) into a searchable, central location like Intellipedia and you have increased the efficiency and know-how of all sorts of people across various programs. The beginnings of this are projects that are about to get the axe, edit their information about things they currently do not support, capabilities they do not provide and are basically marketing information for officers/decision makers to not curtail that program's budget. This is the bad part of the politics, but with the way things are going people are doing all sorts of things to keep their pet projects going.

Implement ACL (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334975)

It's actually kinda simple, you just modify wiki software in such a way that the page creator can specify default behavior of the page and add user accounts to the ACL of that page. It requires 1 custom column on the page data table for default behavior and 1 table to store the ACL info. The ACL table should have a composite key of page id, user name, access level.

The perfect slashdot answer (3, Insightful)

Eevee (535658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335205)

Technically precise and totally misses the point. It's not that they can't lock down the information, but rather they want it easily available to everyone on the classified network.

Re:The perfect slashdot answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335363)

It also got the perfect slashdot mod: "Score:3, Insightful".

Re:The perfect slashdot answer (4, Interesting)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335741)

Sort of. IMHO it does provide a good deal of service. Although the information is locked down, you still have the link relations, further more, you can find out who has which piece of information. Requesting for that information shouldn't be too hard. That's the whole advantage wiki provides the intelligence community. You can link different pieces of information and find relationships between them. So in the old school way, you don't really know who has what, so you run around and ask until you find out. Using wiki, you can follow a chain of leads via links until you hit a stop, then you send an e-mail, get access, and move on. I think "need to know" is a tried and true method as when ever there are leaks in the intelligence community people tend to end up in prison or disappear. ACL provides the perfect balance between "need to know" and "need to share"

Re:The perfect slashdot answer (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339559)

There has to be a M$ joke in there somewhere.

Re:The perfect slashdot answer (1)

Speck'sBacon (1042490) | more than 5 years ago | (#28340461)

It would be a joke if they used Sharepoint instead...

I love it (2, Funny)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335025)

Well cited, very informative. I love it. Hey, what is with the helicopter over the hou0u8409ulksfd['OQ#([No Carrier]

Web 2.0? How about Web 0.2? (1, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335027)

Wait a minute... They're describing wikis as Web 2.0? There was a video, an old black and white clip [google.ca] of a talk some guy was doing regarding some new fangled invention called the network. In it he described a bunch of people collaborating on creating a document, including linking to other documents.

Re:Web 2.0? How about Web 0.2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335303)

Throughout history there have been people who have come up with things that were ahead of their time and were ignored until later when other foundation work had been laid.

Anyone who is too far ahead of the zeitgeist gets ignored. This can be because other technological framework is needed to make it practical or people just don't get what the big deal is.

Where do I get the gargoyle kit? (2, Funny)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335117)

I could make plenty of Kongbucks uploading to the CIC datab-- err, Intellipedia.

Re:Where do I get the gargoyle kit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335571)

Nice reference to Snow Crash.

I'm still somewhat skeptical (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335183)

While things like this may work, small scale wikis for businesses and government entities won't be as successful as some of their proponents hope. The essential advantage of projects like Wikipedia is that most of the people spending time on them are using time they'd otherwise spend procrastinating (playing Solitaire, Minesweeper, WoW etc.) Thus, the resources going in would be otherwise wasted. In that regard, Wikipedia is sort of like a distributed computing system for the human brain. However, Intellipedia and similar projects don't share that advantage. They are explicitly work related so people won't use them to procrastinate. In the case of Intellipedia, the situation is even worse, since security restrictions prevent anyone from editing anywhere other than work. Thus, the only time spent on it will be time otherwise spent doing other work. There are still major advantages to Wikis but these issues take away one of the largest. Intellipedia will thus likely grow and become a useful tool for the intelligence community. But I doubt it will ever become as commonly used in the intelligence community as Wikipedia is used in the normal world.

Re:I'm still somewhat skeptical (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335889)

I dunno, a lot of small to medium sized business have used wikis to speed up documentation (though employees tend to document in-office jokes more than work related activities). Still it is great for getting QA their best practices.

America is .... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335187)

now closely approaching a Soviet state, where anyone can 'contribute' intelligence information. Seriously though, how to verify and authenticate such 'information'. What is to prohibit someone just putting your name in the database for 'suspicious activities' ? Soon you will be put on a no-fly list. Better put your neighbor in the wiki before he does... Posting anonymously so that I don't get added to this wiki. :/

IAAIU (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335257)

IAAIU - I Am An Intellipedia User.

It's not connected to the Internet, and it handles compartmentalized information quite well, thanks. It's actually been quite incredible watching it "grow up" over the past few years. It's also not plagued by the problems that most people associate with Wikis - astroturfing, self-made experts, anonymous contributions - and sure, you will have people with special "pet" pages, it is because they are, in fact, the acknowledged expert and have a vested interest in making sure that the information on the page is as correct as possible.

Imagine Wikipedia made entirely of subject matter experts who have verified credentials and identities. Yeah. It's rad.

Re:IAAIU (0, Troll)

paazin (719486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336025)

Imagine Wikipedia made entirely of subject matter experts who have verified credentials and identities. Yeah. It's rad.

So a wiki that's actually reliable and trustworthy? Unpossible; clearly you're a liar, AC.

Re:IAAIU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28336519)

Got moles? Sleeping double agents?
It doens't seem safe to put such blind trust in the platform, given that the intelligence industry is ^famous^ for agencies trying to infiltrate and trick each other.

Chance of incorrect information: Very low. Damage from blindly acting on incorrect information: National Security Risk and up, without bounds.

How is anyone still on the fence? (3, Insightful)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335281)

Get off the fence and start sharing.

A lack of sharing is pretty clearly responsible for the success of the attacks on 9/11.

Sure, old habits are hard to break. But when you watch thousands of people die because of your agency's failure, that should probably do the trick.

And if it didn't, you need to GTFO and find another line of work.

Re:How is anyone still on the fence? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335507)

Wise words. I'll be sure tell my GS-15 and SES bosses to start sharing or GTFO. ...It's the leaders and middle management that are on the fence, not the majority of the workforce.

Re:How is anyone still on the fence? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335695)

Get off the fence and start sharing.

A lack of sharing is pretty clearly responsible for the success of the attacks on 9/11.

Which lead to ther budget DOUBLING.

Watching thousands of people die was very good for their expense accounts.

Re:How is anyone still on the fence? (0)

twostix (1277166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336103)

How quaint - someone who believes the CIA exists or has *ever* existed to protect American lives.

Don't ever lose that innocence, it's just all so warm and fuzzy to see someone so naive.

Re:How is anyone still on the fence? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337885)

Let me guess, the CIA planned 9/11 right?

Re:How is anyone still on the fence? (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28340451)

No, that was Majestic 12. The CIA shot Kennedy.

Re:How is anyone still on the fence? (1)

dugeen (1224138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28345607)

No, but it made a handy excuse for setting up a global network of CIA torture camps.

What About Those Chinese Wiggers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28335659)

Can anybody post the Intellipedia page for those Chinese Wiggers our Exalted Leader just released into the Bermudian wilderness?

Enquiring minds want to know!

Using social sites to gather intelligence (1)

OutputLogic (1566511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336759)

Think about how much information an intelligence agency (foreign or domestic) can get about a person by analyzing social sited like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter: friends, activities, affiliations, even political views.

OutputLogic [outputlogic.com]

Re:Using social sites to gather intelligence (1)

bcong (1125705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337133)

It's called OSINT or Open Source Intelligence [wikipedia.org] but it's not limited to Internet sources.

Intellipedia (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337241)

'Inevitably, every person, the first question we were asked is "How do I lock down a page?" or "How do I lock down a page so that just my five colleagues can access that?"'

Intellipedia: 3 million pages, all blacked out.

BTW, have they been sued by Intel for trademark infringement yet?

Found all the Intel people at Slashdot (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339103)

Looking at the posts...seems we did "out" a lot of people who work in the intel community on Slashdot...

Re:Found all the Intel people at Slashdot (1)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28341451)

Actually, any "real" experts will sit this one out. It's like guys who talk about all the sex they have had - usually it's in inverse proportion. Any pros will just read these and laugh.

Re:Found all the Intel people at Slashdot (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28345241)

Yeah, usually the guys who have lots of sex with lots of different women totally don't brag about it. That is, except the ones who do it partially for the bragging rights and subsequent alpha male status.

Sticking our necks out? (1)

awarrenfells (1289658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28340953)

It just seems to me, to be a bad idea about network sensitive intelligence information like that. I mean, yes, it is all contained behind a very [hopefully] secure network, but there have been far too many cases of [mostly] Chinese hackers breaking into military computer networks from halfway around the world.

I don't suppose it could stand up to a billion boxen botnet?

After reading the comments, it is obvious... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28343937)

...to me that the marriage counseling hasn't worked. Oh, well...one thing is still true: If you need someone to vent to, you can be sure that the NSA still listens.
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