Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, etc.) tend to have one thing in common: networking. From that aspect, it seems a perfect fit for the military intelligence community to utilize these tools as well. After all, the intelligence community is spread out across the world, large in numbers, may cover various military branches, and in need of methods of rapid information dissemination. This makes them perfect candidates for utilization of Web 2.0 tools save for one major issue: security.
There is an element of danger that accompanies the usage of these tools and it is magnified in the intelligence community. For instance, wikis are notoriously bad for providing misinformation because of the nature of how they are editable (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/01/26/wiki). While it may have little impact that an 8th grader utilizes mininformation about Nolan Ryan gathered from Wikipedia.org in a report, mininformation in the intelligence community could have fatal ramifications. Information without verification is always dangerous and Web 2.0 tools only serve to speed the dissemination of mis-information (when present).
In addition, security concerns must abound over the usage of such tools in the intelligence community. For instance, it could be difficult to control who does/does not have write access to a military wiki, who has security clearance to see informaiton, and how much verification is required before others can act on information. Keeping others from hacking the information is also of great importance and cannot be overlooked.
Regardless of the detractors, the benefits of rapid information sharing and dissemination likely override the concerns and these tools play an important role in keeping the American populace somewhat safe.
William Neill / Photographer – Retrospective
2 days ago