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Daily Archives: August 17, 2013

Secrecy News – Military Tests Data Mining of Social Media for Special Ops

“The U.S. military has been investigating the use of sophisticated data mining tools to probe social media and other open sources in order to support military operations against money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorism and other threats.  But the window for doing so may be closing as the social media landscape changes, according to an internal assessment. U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) National Capital Region (NCR) conducted a series of experiments over the past year under the rubric “QUANTUM LEAP” that was intended to test “non-traditional” tools and techniques to advance the SOCOM mission. [In fact, only the first experiment was carried out…] An after-action report on the first experiment said it “was successful in identifying strategies and techniques for exploiting open sources of information, particularly social media, in support of a counter threat finance mission.”  Counter threat finance refers to efforts to disrupt an adversary’s finances.  A copy of the SOCOM NCR report was obtained by Secrecy News.  See “Project QUANTUM LEAP: After Action Report,” 12 September 2012.

“Major lessons learned were the pronounced utility of social media in exploiting human networks, including networks in which individual members actively seek to limit their exposure to the internet and social media…,” the report said.

The QUANTUM LEAP project, which did not utilize classified intelligence, relied heavily on participation by private sector firms identified in the report, who demonstrated tools they had developed “to enhance the ability to discover relationships, human networks, and geospatial features” from open source data.”

Federal Judge rules NY police use of stop-and-frisk tactics unconsitutional

ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss “A federal judge in Manhattan has ruled that New York police violated the Constitution when they targeted “the right people” with stop-and-frisk tactics. Minorities were disproportionately targeted under policies that encouraged more police stops to combat crime, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin wrote in a 195-page decision (PDF). “A policeContinue Reading

TIME – Martin Luther King Jr: Architect of the 21st Century

Jon Meacham: “With a single phrase, Martin Luther King Jr. joined Jefferson and Lincoln in the ranks of men who’ve shaped modern America.” See also this free TIME multimedia site “Fifty years ago, tens of thousands of buses, cars, trains and chartered planes converged on Washington for the biggest civil rights rally in U.S. history.Continue Reading

2014 edition of CDC Health Information for International Travel

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the online version of the 2014 edition of CDC Health Information for International Travel, commonly known as the “Yellow Book.” Nicknamed for its yellow cover, this is the ultimate guide for healthy international travel. The most recent version includes special guidance for people who will be livingContinue Reading