Insights

Open Source Intelligence: What is that again?

Twenty years ago, OSINT meant reading the newspaper. Ten years ago, OSINT meant browsing the web. What does OSINT mean today? Using commercially available tools I can do the following things: Task an individual on the ground to answer a specific question or provide imagery. (See this article for further details – Sites such as MoboQ, or…

Spin Cycles: Intelligence and Operations

Both the volume of information available to us, and the speed at which it can be processed into useful intelligence are increasing rapidly. Unfortunately human beings are appallingly ill equipped to cope with multiple tasks, thoughts or information streams concurrently. If you don’t believe me, and you have a spare ten minutes, try one of these…

Underground Intelligence Part II, or How Not To Do It.

There is a comedy show on BBC Radio 4 called ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’. I think it’s brilliant, but it’s probably not to everyone’s taste. Try it for yourself and see. One of the games which the panelists play on ISIHAC is called Mornington Crescent. The game involves navigating ones way to Mornington…

Underground Intelligence

The London Underground during rush hour can be a horrible place – particularly if you’re not entirely sure of where you’re trying to get to, or the best way of getting there. But it would be a lot worse without the input of Harry Beck. In 1931, Harry was an engineering draftsman working for the…

Presenting Data – Fighting the Russians

IMSL is currently spending a lot of effort developing the mechanisms by which we present analysis of data to our clients.   I think everyone agrees that the same-old-same-old Powerpoint is too crude, too boring and too limited in its presentation tools.  Over the next few weeks we are going to show you some of…

Smarter than you think

New technological tools are changing the way that fundamental intelligence analysis is done – it’s more than an efficiency improvement – it’s radical.

The Death of the RFI (and why that’s a good thing)

My last post on the problems inherent with delivering written, linear intelligence reports has got me thinking.  As I discussed there, the speed of modern analytical tools allows huge data crunching to be done almost instantaneously. This really causes a problem for those whose broader operational systems are wedded to an intelligence cycle that operates at…

Good riddance to the pdf. The problem with Linear Presentation of Intelligence Analysis

The pen has a lot to answer for.  I don’t doubt that the invention of writing allowed thought to be recorded, and records to be made.  A wonderful tool indeed.  But more and more these days I can’t help thinking that writing a report is a pretty poor way of presenting intelligence analysis. The issue…

Kindle to Evernote Geekery for Analysts

This tip might only appeal to the subset of analysts who use a Kindle or Kindle app to make notes on books they are reading and who also use Evernote. I do both with the passion of an evangelist, and believe the two systems are fabulous tools for the analyst and blogger. And I’ve just worked out how to merge the two and derive great synergy, so I’m chuffed with myself. Apologies if you aren’t interested or you knew this years ago.