This press conference and debate was held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on 9/8/10 by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

Their web site is AE911Truth.org

Over 1200 architects and engineers endorse a new independent investigation into how the 3 buildings collapsed at near free fall speed on 9/11/01: the Twin Towers (world trade center 1 and 2) and world trade center Building 7.

Former U.S. Senator from Alaska Mike Gravel noted that “critically important evidence has come forward after the original government building reports were completed.” He states that a new commission should be granted subpoena power and full access to all governmental files and personnel.

Source Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDQqCNX_NJE

See Full Video:

OGV Format:  http://ia360703.us.archive.org/1/items/ArchitectsAndEngineersFor911TruthPressConferenceOfSeptember82010/Ae911Truth.ogv

MP4 Format: http://ia360703.us.archive.org/1/items/ArchitectsAndEngineersFor911TruthPressConferenceOfSeptember82010/Ae911Truth_512kb.mp4

Source Link: http://www.archive.org/details/ArchitectsAndEngineersFor911TruthPressConferenceOfSeptember82010

We have finally realized that the Internet is much more than a network of computers.
It is an endless web of people. Men and women from every corner of the globe are
connecting to one another, thanks to the biggest social interface ever known to humanity.
Digital culture has laid the foundations for a new kind of society.
And this society is advancing dialogue, debate and consensus through communication.
Because democracy has always flourished where there is openness, acceptance,
discussion and participation. And contact with others has always been the most
effective antidote against hatred and conflict.
That’s why the Internet is a tool for peace.
That’s why anyone who uses it can sow the seeds of non-violence.
And that’s why the next Nobel Peace Prize should go to the Net.
A Nobel for each and every one of us.

Source Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrwQGBsuIh4

By Terrence Mckenna one of the greatest modern philosopher of Consciousness.

Source Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c8an2XZ3MU

Evolution of Intelligence, Timothy Leary addressing the classroom, on the importance of the self and our place in History.

Source Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luxnPhVQUGI

# The Future of Politics

Source Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV8MwBXmewU

http://www.casaleggio.it/thefutureofpolitics

# The Media Revolution

Source Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj8ZadKgdC0

# The State of Global Intelligence by Robert Steele

Our first speaker at our first conference back in 1994 is back to once again presents an overview of global intelligence. Smart Cities, Smart Corporations, Smart Nations are the ideal. The “tribes” of intelligence – academic, civil, commercial, government, law enforcement, military, and non-governmental – are almost catatonically stupid as well as corrupt in their information pathologies. There will also be a brief overview of his new book, Intelligence for Earth: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, and Sustainability, which, like all of his books, is free online and for sale at cost at Amazon.

Download Audio:

# Spy Improv on Steroids – Steele Uncensored – Anything Goes

Steele has gotten past the anger and is now offering up icy-cold straight public intelligence in the public interest. A recovering spy, founder of the modern Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) movement, #1 reviewer of nonfiction as rated by readers at Amazon, and now practicing what he preaches deep in the jungles of Central America, Steele, who reads in 98 categories and is down to his last of nine lives, will answer any question on any topic for as long as it takes. The record is four hours. He may die soon, so he wants to try for six hours.

Download Audio:

Part 1: http://c2047862.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/tnha23a.mp3
Part 2: http://c2047862.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/tnha23b.mp3
Part 3: http://c2047862.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/tnha23c.mp3
Part 4: http://c2047862.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/tnha23d.mp3

Source Link: http://thenexthope.org/

With the movie Privacy Matters, we want to raise awareness about all aspects of privacy restrictions, data mining to security cameras, from loyalty cards to identity theft. But mainly we want everyone to challenge the dialogue to seek the balance between privacy and security. http://www.carbonmedia.nl

Source Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytl9wANDX2Y

Terrorism is one of those rarest forms of activity in the world, with one of the less death counts ever in History, yet there is a hype in so-called ‘Closed-Main-Stream-Commercial-Media-Networks’ of “BIG Private Media, Business, Industry & Governments etc” are Paranoid with their war games on terrori$m, perhaps who is “terrori$ing” who? The question is simple.

“Major General Albert “Bert” N. Stubblebine: says, “Intelligence is to find out what the enemy is doing, before the enemy did it, so that we could take action against the enemy itself” Perhaps there is no enemy? and that it is the fantasy of ‘invisible enemy’, fear no evil, or evil is ignorance.

See Video Source Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daNr_TrBw6E&fmt=18

“Major General Albert “Bert” N. Stubblebine III, head of all intelligence says:

– Pentagon NOT hit by a plane.

– WTC 7 brought down by explosives.

– Media in America is controlled.

– A terrible pilot hits pentagon accounting office holding records of missing 3 trillion in oil for money scheme & missing 2.3 trillion in DOD expenses.

– Pentagon debris a single 3 foot engine Proven not related to 757.

– FBI took all recordings & refuses to show.

– The FCC had all records on criminals like Paulson, Geithner, Ruben, Summers & others engaging in that illegal activity. But all the records of those illegal trades were destroyed when WTC 7 was brought down by thermite on 9/11!

– 911 was a public snuff film used to shock the public and enact the end of the Bill of Rights & invasion of oil bearing countries, & make money for private companies like Halliburton, (stock from 10 to 50 a share)!

– By destroying the WTC, they were able to cover up theft of gold bullion & destroy illegal financial transaction records performed just prior to the attacks.

– Silverstein spends 140 million to make 7 billion almost over night; Silverstein said it was demolished by explosives, (pull it) It reminds me of CIA man Byrd, the owner of TX School Book Depository, who turned a 2.5 million insider purchase into 26 million dollars thanks to JFK assassination!”

Posted by: Simon Phipps

When I said recently that we still need the Open Source Initiative (OSI), it started a flood of comment. There’s no doubt that we need OSI – but we need a better OSI. The one we have now is just too small to be effective and too mired in past successes; a renaissance is needed. You can help.

Yesterday and Today

OSI was formed in 1998 to solve a pressing problem. The founders embraced the ideals of software freedom, but saw that businesses – being non-persons – lacked any way to embrace a philosophical principle. To advance software freedom, it needed to be pragmatically “projected” onto the surface of the computer industry of 1998. The result was a focus on a certain kind of advocacy, plus an enormously valuable effort to analyse, categorise and selectively endorse copyright licenses. OSI was the pragmatic projection of software freedom onto the computer industry of 1998.

But in 2010, the industry has changed. It’s due in no small part to the effects of software freedom on technology and innovation, with the pragmatic liberties it guarantees seeding today’s key trends. It’s also in part due to the attempted corruption of open standards and the policies that rely on them, which has allowed proprietary software an undeserved ascendancy. So while new businesses are able to be formed with philosophical and ethical principles embedded in their DNA, existing ones still can’t “embrace software freedom” since that’s a capability only of intelligent individuals.

Today we have a mature understanding of open source issues and licensing that means the advocacy initiatives of 1999 are less necessary and the license approval role has changed. The growth of cloud computing – even with open APIs and open data – means that liberty assurance mechanisms based only on source code are inadequate to identify the presence of software freedom. And the maturity of the open source market means the ‘games’ that existing corporations play on the market are sophisticated enough to use open source as a corporate weapon instead of as a path to liberty.

Re-projection

We need to repeat the exercise of projecting software freedom onto its surface, reinventing OSI to steward the resulting activities. That may well mean:

  • addressing today’s trends, such as open data and open cloud computing;
  • increasing consumer awareness of open source and the four freedoms (beyond the code and the geeks);
  • educating the next generation of computer science graduates (many of whom think open source or free software just mean “Linux”);
  • dealing with the engagement of powerful industry corporations such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle and SAP;
  • expanding resources for government and NGOs to adopt and institute open source programs;
  • sustaining license review activities, which remain a key function for OSI (but now with an emphasis on avoiding new licenses unless they are essential).

However OSI is formed with a board which is the de facto entire volunteer base. There is also a chicken-and-egg problem that there is no clear door into OSI so there is no one to form an electorate and there is no “new blood”. OSI has been trying to fix this but it requires work. The first attempt the Board made involved inviting 50 people to discuss the problem in an online forum last year. This didn’t devise a new governing membership body, but did work through all of the possible ways OSI could be governed and more effective.

Change Inevitable

Change is now inevitable because the board recently passed rules imposing term limits to make room for new blood. A significant number of long-term Board members retire this year and next. So it’s vital that a plan for OSI’s future be devised. As I have said before, I’m convinced that future has to be membership-based, with a Board that represents people working on grass-roots software freedom matters.

// We are also keen to see more people involved in other aspects of OSI. If you have experience with writing charters, administering servers, web design, trademark policy or any other aspect of the renewal of OSI (where you’ll find this article posted too), then please write to me (using the e-mail link over to the right) or contact the OSI Board.

I’m sure the criticism of OSI will continue, but there’s an opportunity to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Will you take it?

Source Link: http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=3009&blogid=14

“Open source and open government are not the same,” I’ve been reading recently. When discussing the role of open standards in open government transparency projects, Bob Caudill at Adobe, is concerned that open source and open standards are being conflated. He likes open standards just fine, but:

“Open standards are driving for interoperability between systems or applications, while, the goal of open source is to make high-quality software available to the market free of charge.”

As an open source advocate, I’m surprised. What, I have to wonder, is so threatening about open source? Why the effort to take open source off the table? I’ve written on the topic before, and I didn’t think this was controversial — but apparently I was wrong. Andrea DiMaio at Gartner is more pointed:

“For those who have been following some of the vintage discussions about government and open source, this will probably sound like a déjà vu. I honestly thought that people had finally given up pushing the confusion between open source and open standards or open formats, but here we are again.”

While they both agree on the importance of open standards (although transparency also seems to annoy DiMaio), they also remind us that tools, proprietary or open source, are a means to an end. An open standard is an open standard, whether implemented by an open source project or a proprietary one. What’s important, they insist, is more transparency, collaboration, and participation. Open source is immaterial at best, and a distraction at worst.

They’re right, of course, that open standards are crucial to ensuring meaningful transparency in government. It does not follow, however, that this precludes a role for open source.  Open source software is an invaluable tool — one of many — to approach all three goals (transparency, collaboration, participation) of the Open Government Directive. It’s not about open source software specifically, although the software helps. It’s about the process that open source projects use to create good software. Because the open source development process requires real collaboration, tangible progress towards a goal, and the participation of a broad community of users and developers, it’s an excellent mechanism for getting citizens involved in the work of government.

DiMaio couldn’t disagree more. Referring to Nat Torkington’s idea of using the open source development model to improve transparency projects:

“…there is a fundamental flaw in this line of thought. Open source projects cluster a number of developers who collaborate on an equal footing to develop a product they are jointly responsible for, as a community.

“Government does not have the luxury of doing so. An agency publishing crime statistics or weather forecast or traffic information is ultimately accountable for what it publishes.”

I couldn’t disagree more. Again, DiMaio and Caudill misunderstand how the open source process works and what it can contribute. The trouble, I think, is with a too-narrow understanding of what participation and collaboration might mean, and a similarly narrow view of what the open source development process has to offer.

The goal of open source is much more than just making no-cost software, as Caudill suggests. It’s about producing better software through a process of inclusion and rough consensus. The source code is free of charge largely because that is the best way to create a large community around the project, it’s not the final goal. And while some open source projects function better than others, they are not, as a rule, unaccountable. In order for the projects to succeed, they must be highly accountable to their community.  Further, many open source projects have commercial ventures (like my company, Red Hat) that live or die by their success, which makes them extremely accountable. So to say that the government cannot rely on open source software or the open source process because it is unaccountable is just not true. We know this to be the case because you can find the government using open source software in the Army, the NSA, the Census, the White House, and just about everywhere else. So there’s no reason to think that open source process cannot inform and support an open data project, as DiMaio suggests.

Setting accountability to the side, the more interesting conversation is how open source can bring some unique benefits to open government, unavailable any other way.

If you look at the outstanding work of pro-transparency organizations like the Sunlight Foundation, govtrack.us, RECAP, and others, nearly all are using open source and the open source development model. It’s not, as DiMaio and Caudill suggest, because they’re naive ideologues who are confused as to the meaning of “open”. These are smart people doing serious work. They’re using open source because it’s the best way to collect a large number of contributors around a common problem. They’re using open source because the transparency of the process and software makes their work credible. They’re using open source because they believe that free access to government data means free access to the tools that make that data useful.

The alternative is closed, proprietary tools, which do little to further the transparency goals. RECAP, for example, had a difficult time understanding the US Courts’ closed PACER system, and had to do a lot of difficult reverse-engineering to work with it effectively. The job would have been significantly easier if they had access to the PACER software source code. Fortunately, because RECAP is an open source project, their hard work making PACER usable is now available to everyone. So to dismiss open source as irrelevant to the crucial work of making government data available and valuable to the private citizen, and the even more important work of encouraging a collaboration between government and its citizen, is deeply misguided.

Again, even though data transparency seems to annoy DiMaio, I think there’s good reason for the tremendous transparency effort the administration and the private sector have brought to bear. First, data transparency is a relatively simple problem to solve. It’s easy to publish data on the Internet, and there’s a tremendous amount of value to be extracted. So while it’s only a part of the challenge — indeed, is only one leg of the Open Government Directive — it’s an easy win for both government and its citizens.

But DiMaio is correct that open government is about much more than just data, so let’s generalize this further. We could understand open government as an opportunity to increase the quality of interaction between citizens and their government through collaboration. “The government is not a vending machine,” as Tim O’Reilly paraphased Frank DiGiammarino of the National Academy of Public Administration, “which we kick when it doesn’t work right.” Instead of treating government as a black box, we should treat our government as the place where we, in the public and private sector, come together, to solve problems as a group. This is why we refer to “government as a platform.” Yes, as DiMaio says, each agency is responsible for its own output. But that doesn’t mean the public has no stake. Precisely because we want to hold agencies to a higher standard, we must provide a means of collaboration and participation.

The trouble is, there’s a lot more of us than there is of them. How can one agency effectively collaborate with 300 million constituents? Likewise, how can an agency effectively communicate with that many people? One of the reasons the open government movement is so preoccupied with technology and the Internet is that they represent a solution to this problem. For the first time, the government and its citizens have the means to work effectively at this scale. There are all kinds of tools for this: social networking, blogging, data.gov, the Ideascale Open Government sites, and so on. One of those tools, the one that is most interesting to me, is the open source development process.

Note that I didn’t say open source software. Although I love the software, and could talk for days about why the government should be using more of it, it’s the process that creates this software that is most valuable to the goals of collaboration and participation.

In the last 40 years, open source software communities have learned how to effectively solve complex tasks with large, far-flung, geographically dispersed communities. Why wouldn’t we take these methods, and apply them to the task of creating a better government? As I mentioned earlier, Nat Torkington suggested using the open source process to improve data quality. The NASA CoLab project uses open source software and the open source development process alongside other collaborative tools to get researchers from the public and private sector to work together. The Defense Information Systems Agency is using the forge.mil project to encourage collaboration between the DOD and its contractors — not just for software, but for testing, certification, and project management. The Apps for Democracy, Apps for Army, and Apps for America contests are all attempts to harness the collective intelligence of citizens and government to solve common problems using the open source model — not just building tools, but building the means to collaborate on top of open tools, like Open 311 and DataMasher.

So when DiMaio bemoans the lack of government employee engagement and the lack of community data, it may be because he doesn’t realize that this work is happening, and it’s happening using open source and (more generally) collaborative innovation models.

Both DiMaio and Caudill make the mistake of believing that open source is about making cheap bits. Instead, it’s a blueprint for effective collaboration on a massive scale. Advocates for open source in government, like me and my friends at Open Source for America, aren’t just talking about open source tools, although those are also useful. We believe that the open source development model has a concrete contribution to make to the open government movement — and those who dismiss open source as irrelevant don’t realize just how open a government can be.

Source Link: http://govfresh.com/2010/03/open-source-matters-to-open-government-really/

The DNI Open Source Center, which gathers, translates, analyzes, and distributes unclassified open source intelligence from around the world, is steadily growing in capability and impact, according to Doug Naquin, the Center’s Director.

The Open Source Center (https://www.opensource.gov/), which replaced the CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service, is doing more analysis and outreach than its predecessor and is also exploring new media, said Mr. Naquin in a recent speech (pdf).

“We’re looking now at YouTube, which carries some unique and honest-to-goodness intelligence,” he said.

“We have groups looking at what they call ‘Citizens Media’: people taking pictures with their cell phones and posting them on the Internet. Then there’s Social Media, phenomena like MySpace and blogs…. A couple years back we identified Iranian blogs as a phenomenon worthy of more attention, about six months ahead of anybody else.”

“But we still have an education problem … both with the folks who are proponents of open source but perhaps don’t know exactly why, and folks internally who are still wondering why I am sitting at the same table they are,” he said.

“All of us have heard the statement by [intelligence community] leaders at one time or another that ‘Our business is stealing secrets.’ Or ‘Our business is espionage.’ While I deeply respect that, and I understand where that’s coming from, from my Open Source perspective, I’m thinking that’s like a football coach saying, ‘Our mission is to pass the ball.’ Or ‘Our mission is to run the ball.’ Well, not exactly. It’s to win football games.”

Mr. Naquin addressed the Central Intelligence Retirees’ Association on October 3, 2007. The text of his remarks is available here.: (http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/naquin.pdf)

While the Open Source Center may be thriving, its net value to the general public has actually declined. That is because only a small fraction of its product is normally made publicly available (for a substantial subscription fee), while alternative means of public access to international information sources continue to multiply.

Source Link: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2008/02/open_source_intelligence_advan.html

The head of the CIA doesn’t want you to know what he watches on television.

So-called “open source” intelligence — spook-speak for tidbits taken from newspapers, internet postings, and TV shows — is starting to play a major role in the nation’s spy agencies. That’s a major change, in a world that’s used to relying on secret satellites and clandestine agents. But old habits die hard. Open source intelligence may come from unclassified material that’s available to anyone with a TV or an internet connection. CIA chief Michael Hayden says the finished products have to be kept out of public view. They’re just too sensitive for average folks to see.

“The information is unclassified. Our interest in it is not,” Gen. Michael Hayden told the Director of National Intelligence Open Source Conference late last week. (Click here for the audio.: http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/files/hayden_osc_talk.WMA) “One irony of working the open source side of the intelligence business is that the better we do, the less we can talk about it.”

Just a few years ago, open source intelligence was a backwater in the spy community. Today, the head of the Open Source Center, where public information is collected, now reports directly to Hayden — just like the Directorate of Intelligence and National Clandestine Services chiefs. Open source material is included regularly in the President’s Daily Brief — the intelligence summary, delivered right to the Oval Office.

These days, “secret information isn’t always the brass ring in our profession,” Hayden said. “In fact, there’s a real satisfaction in solving a problem or answering a tough question with information that someone was dumb enough to leave out in the open.”

CNN and Al Jazeera often broadcast word of terror attacks or troop movements before they’ve been officially reported. Postings on jihadist forums can sometimes be more informative than paid informants.
Sensitive technical specifications are left on unsecured servers. Local newspapers can give more insight into foreign politics than wiretapped calls. “I spend a lot of time watching TV because — if you think about it — it’s the best intelligence network in the world,” a leading admiral said, a few years back.

Hayden echoed the sentiment. “The questions our customers ask — whether itâ??s a policy maker or a military commander or a law enforcement official — demand answers, many of which are only available through open source research,” he said.

Open source material not only fills in blanks about often-elusive adversaries. It can also give a broader sense of the mood in a particular country, or the feeling in a particular group, Hayden noted.
Which led him to discuss one TV program he had recently watched, from a CIA listening station in Key West, Florida. It was a Cuban soap opera.

In the show, hapless agents of the Castro regime tried to place microphones around an apartment — and failed, miserably. The portrayal of domestic spies as Keystone Kops was pretty subversive stuff, in a land that’s been under totalitarian rule for decades. And “it gave me a new appreciation for life and thought on the island,” Hayden said. He recommended that all of his fellow spies in the room use open source intelligence to get similar feels for foreign cultures.

But don’t tell anyone, okay?

Source Link:  http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/09/download-hayden/

In the mid ’90s, Robert Steele, a former-CIA officer and early proponent of open source intelligence, testified before the Aspin-Brown Commission about the tremendous value of unclassified information. The Commission decided to put this open source intelligence, or “OSINT,” to the test and directed that Steele and his network of commercial intelligence contacts would go head-to-head against the secret intelligence community in a battle-of-the-INTs. The subject would be the tiny and generally dismal nation of Burundi. The battle was engaged at 17:00 on a Thursday and the delivery deadline was 10:00 the next Monday.

On Monday morning Steele showed up with:

  • The names of the top 10 journalists covering Burundi (ripe for debriefing)
  • The names of the top 10 academics covering Burundi (ripe for debriefing)
  • 20 two-page executive-level political-military summaries on Burundi
  • Burundi order-of-battle information down to the tribal level.
  • 1:50 maps of the country
  • 1:50 cloud-free imagery of the country that was less than 3 years old.

The CIA showed up with a PowerPoint chart of nominal value and a regional – not country-specific – economic study. You could pretty much conduct a non-combat operation in Burundi with Steele’s info; you wouldn’t send your worst enemy to Burundi based on what the CIA provided.

The Congressional Research Service’s recent report on open source intelligence reminds us that the point Steele made eleven years ago remains valid today: the value of any given piece of information is found in its utility, not in how it was obtained.

Stolen information is useless if it doesn’t answer any questions or in the case of the Burundi exercise, cannot be obtained period.
Additionally, while secrets always come with baggage (is the source lying to you? does the source even know what he’s talking about? is the information old? is this a trick?) OSINT can be fact-checked in real-time by multiple sources.
(No wonder the Department of Homeland Security seems so interested in it.)  All the unwanted attention showered on the recent intelligence estimate on Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities focused on the IC’s analysis of mostly secret information, but I would argue that it is collection or the lack thereof that is at the root of most intelligence problems. The CRS report conveniently if inadvertently points out a potential solution to both problems:

The ultimate metric for the Intelligence Community is, however, the quality of analysis. Today’s analysts work with the awareness that products reflecting ignorance of information contained in open sources will discredit the entire intelligence effort. This will be especially the case when intelligence products are made public and are scrutinized by knowledgeable outside experts.

I think it is high time we repeated the Burundi experiment (perhaps take a close look at someplace relevant like Pakistan). See how substantial (as opposed to ideological) the critiques from the world’s foremost experts are, and figure out if charges of “politicization” are accurate or if more fundamental flaws need to be addressed.

– Michael Tanji, cross-posted at Haft of the Spear

Source Link: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2007/12/how-to-restore/

“Permaculture is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect and minimise work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs”, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.Permaculture is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect and minimise work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.Permaculture is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect and minimise work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.” –Wikipedia

“What is a Transition Town (or village / city / forest / island)?

Here’s how it all appears to be evolving…

It all starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil and Climate Change?

They begin by forming an initiating group and then adopt the Transition Model with the intention of engaging a significant proportion of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative.

A Transition Initiative is a community working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:

* awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
* connecting with existing groups in the community
* building bridges to local government
* connecting with other transition initiatives
* forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
* kicking off projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
* eventually launching a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.

The community also recognises two crucial points:

* that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and that there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope
* if we collectively plan and act early enough there’s every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.” –Transitiontowns.org

Permaculture Concept (Video) – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6370279933612522952

In Transition 1.0 (Video) – http://vimeo.com/groups/22864/videos/8029815

Permaculture, Sustainability, Natural Farming & Eco-Building (Playlist: 200 Videos)
http://www.youtube.com/ase010#g/c/DB2053673AD1ABB2 (Grid-view)
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DB2053673AD1ABB2 (List-view)

PERMACULTURE & PEAK OIL: Beyond ‘Sustainability’ (Video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFjFG24BeX8

Interview David Holmgren (Video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfM2bhijj_c

Official video of the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 (Video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1VYmpTikgw

Permaculture from Wikipedia – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Permaculture

Category:Permaculture – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Category%3APermaculture

Transition Towns – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Transition_Towns
Fairtrade Town – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Fairtrade_Town

The twelve key ingredients to the Transition model – http://www.transitionnetwork.org/community/support/12-ingredients

Transition Initiatives Primer (Comprehensive document) – (PDF) – http://www.transitionnetwork.org/sites/default/files/TransitionInitiativesPrimer(3).pdf

http://www.permaculture.org
http://www.transitiontowns.org/
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/
http://transitionculture.org/

http://www.pfaf.org/ ( Plants for a Future, 7000 Useful Plants )

The Transition Handbook – free edit version – http://www.appropedia.org/The_Transition_Handbook

Transition Town Handbook (PDF) – http://www.familyforests.org/congress/Transition%20Handbook.pdfhttp://www.mastt.org.uk/files/transition-handbook%5B1%5D.pdf (Backup)

PERMACULTURE: A Designers Manual, Bill Mollison (PDF) – https://thepiratebay.org/torrent/5040528/PERMACULTURE__A_Designers_Manual__Bill_Mollison

Tagari Publications – https://www.tagari.com/

Bill Mollison – In Grave Danger of Falling Food (Video) – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3162503821561656641https://isohunt.com/torrent_details/28627762/

Emilia Hazelip – Synergistic Garden (Video) – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2865701754864235132https://isohunt.com/torrent_details/31761277

Robert Hart – Forest Gardening (Video) – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=659155658226666080https://isohunt.com/torrent_details/31096481/

Farming with Nature – A Case Study of Successful Temperate Permaculture (Video) – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6656144440632078205https://isohunt.com/torrent_details/29235653/

Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way 2008 (Video) – https://isohunt.com/torrent_details/92210617/

Greening the Desert Final 2009 (Video) – https://isohunt.com/torrent_details/148433433/

An Introduction to Permaculture (12.13 GB in 197 files) – https://isohunt.com/torrent_details/144986625/

Sepp Holzer – Aquaculture – Synergy of Land and Water – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=235437896615994763https://isohunt.com/torrent_details/31391666/

Bill Mollison – Permaculture Course – 47 hour CD – https://isohunt.com/release/127902/

Global Gardener Series 1-4 – Bill Mollinson – Permaculture in Practice – https://isohunt.com/release/96655/

Introduction to Permaculture: Concepts and Resources – http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/perma.html

Bill Mollison – INTRODUCTION TO PERMACULTURE Pamphlets (PDF) – http://www.permacultureproject.com/resources/bill-mollison-permaculture-pamphletshttp://www.barkingfrogspermaculture.org/PDC_ALL.pdf

Permaculture essay – http://www.lensgarden.com.au/permaculture_essay.htm

List of companion plants – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_companion_plants

Perennial Plant – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Perennial_plant

Companion Planting – http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html

Ecology – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Ecology
Human_ecology – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Human_ecology
Ecosystem – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Ecosystem
Ecological Economics – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Ecological_economics
Biodiversity – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Biodiversity
Sustainability – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sustainability
Forest Gardening – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Forest_gardening

Landscape Ecology – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Landscape_ecology

Agriculture – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Sustainable_agriculture

Organic Agriculture – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Organic_agriculture

Agroforestry – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Agroforestry

There is a difference between ‘Free’ or ‘Open Source’, it can be Free, but not ‘Open Source’, it can be Open Source but not ‘Free’! The Solution is that we need to have both quality’s of superior “Free Open Source” content, the Nature of the Source of Root of All Life. We should always use the best, highest state of art known “Information & Software” Technology’s, at All Times, at All Free Costs. That any piece of information or file can be “Read, Opened, Accessed, Modified, Controlled, Updated, Improved, Shared etc” (to just give a few examples), by just anyone in the world of “Open Space Public Community Network” the Internet for efficient collective “Communication”. That the processes of the ‘Projects’ of the Community itself will be in constant motion, always in continuous further development and improvement directly towards the future. Please feel free for any additional comments, suggestions & tips!

Here are a few small examples of far incomplete lists:

# Free Open Source Software

Philosophy of the GNU Project – http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.html
Distrowatch – Put the fun back into computing (Operation Systems) – http://distrowatch.com/
SourceForge – Download and develop free Open Source Software – http://sourceforge.net/
Open Source Windows – http://www.opensourcewindows.org/
Open-Source Software from Wikipedia – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Open-source_software
Free Software Portal – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Portal:Free_software
List of free and open source software packages from Wikipedia – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_free_and_open_source_software_packages
Open Source Living – http://osliving.com
OPEN SOURCE GOD: 480+ Open Source Applications – http://mashable.com/2007/09/23/open-source/

# Social Networking

“Social Networking sites are just invading our life. Everyone is just getting in to Social sites like Facebook or Twitter. More than 300 million people use Facebook. Soon it will be doubled or tripled. So, what really happens to your personal data? Numerous blogs have enlightened us on what Facebook possibly could do with our data. Facebook, Twitter do give public data to famous search engines, they can give it to advertizing companies and so on. Facebook changes privacy settings often, it tends to forget your privacy settings driving you crazy. You see totally an unknown person’s photos on your friends update, when you like fan pages on Facebook, it automatically becomes public. There are so many such loop holes. What if you didn’t want your data to be on their server at all? or you wanted an open source version of Social Networking software? Popular social sites like Facebook are not open…they are closed and you do not have any control over it. If you want to setup your such Social Networking sites for your college or family or Company, there are some options. Some of them are listed below.”

Source Link: http://open-tube.com/5-free-and-open-source-social-network-platforms-alternatives-to-the-closed-facebook

Build your own: “Free-Open-Source” Distributed Social Media Networks (CMS) Platforms:

Diaspora – http://www.joindiaspora.com/
Appleseed – http://opensource.appleseedproject.org/https://www.drumbeat.org/project/appleseed-social-networking
LovdbyLess – http://lovdbyless.com/
OneSocialWeb – http://onesocialweb.org/
Community Engine – http://www.communityengine.org/
Elgg – http://elgg.org/
Insoshi – http://github.com/insoshi/insoshi
Drupal – http://drupal.org/
Joomla Community Builder Suite – http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/210/details
BuddyPress – http://buddypress.org/
Mahara – http://mahara.org/
Anahita – http://www.anahitapolis.com/
Xoops – http://www.xoops.org/ + Yogurt Extension – http://sourceforge.net/projects/galeriayogurt/
BoonEx Dolphin – http://www.boonex.com/dolphin/
AROUNDMe – http://www.barnraiser.org/aroundme
Pligg CMS – http://www.pligg.com/
Mycelia – https://rhizomatik.net/mycelia
PHPizabi – http://www.phpizabi.net/
Lorea – http://lorea.cc/
NoseRub – http://noserub.com/
Crabgrass – http://crabgrass.riseup.net/
Noosfero – http://noosfero.org/
6d – http://www.get6d.com/what-is-6d
StatusNet – http://status.net/
Cyn.in – http://www.cynapse.com/cynin
Pinax – http://pinaxproject.com/
Open Atrium – http://openatrium.com/
SMOB – http://smob.me/
Diso – http://code.google.com/p/diso/
RSSN – http://rssn.hedgie.com/tiki-index.php
MOVIM – http://www.movim.eu/
Helloworld – http://www.helloworld-network.org/cms/en/introduction/
Kopal – http://code.google.com/p/kopal/
Partuza – http://code.google.com/p/partuza/
Virtuoso Open Source -http://virtuoso.openlinksw.com/dataspace/dav/wiki/Main/Ods
Knowee – http://knowee.org/
The Socknet – http://socknet.net/w/The_Socknet
OpenQabal – https://openqabal.dev.java.net/
Newscloud – http://blog.newscloud.com/welcome-to-newscloud.html
eXo Social – http://www.exoplatform.com/http://sourceforge.net/projects/exo-social/
Affelio – http://sourceforge.net/projects/affelioproject/
AstroSPACES – http://sourceforge.net/projects/astrospaces/
Socialnetwork – http://sourceforge.net/projects/socialnetwork/
OpenPNE – http://sourceforge.net/projects/openpne/
Scuttle – http://sourceforge.net/projects/scuttle/

GNU Social/Project Comparison – http://groups.fsf.org/wiki/Group:GNU_Social/Project_Comparison

Why we must create GNU social – http://groups.fsf.org/wiki/Group:GNU_Social

Persona: An Online Social Network with User-Defined Privacy – http://ccr.sigcomm.org/online/?q=node/496

Top 10 Open-Source Platforms to Build Your Own Social Network – http://www.dzineblog.com/2010/03/top-10-open-source-platforms-that-allow-you-to-build-your-own-social-network.html

Top 20 Free Open Source Social Networking Software – http://www.honeytechblog.com/top-20-free-open-source-social-networking-software/

5 Free And Open Source Social Network Platforms – Alternatives To The Closed Facebook
http://open-tube.com/5-free-and-open-source-social-network-platforms-alternatives-to-the-closed-facebook

Top 10 Open-Source Social Networking Platforms and Tools – http://feedgrowth.com/idea-categories/social-networking/top-10-open-source-social-networking-platforms-and-tools/

40 Downloadable Open Source Social Software Applications
http://www.maxkiesler.com/2007/10/02/40-downloadable-open-source-social-software-applications/

Open Source Social Platforms: 10 of the Best – http://mashable.com/2007/07/25/open-source-social-platforms/

9 Free Ning Alternatives And Some Open Source Solutions – http://www.jonbishop.com/2010/04/9-free-ning-alternatives-and-some-open-source-solutions/

Ning Review Alternatives – http://richard-eng.blogspot.com/2010/05/ning-alternatives.html

Lists of the most popular Non-Free and/or non-Open-Source social networking websites – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites

50 (Non-Free-Open-Source) Social Sites That Every Business Needs a Presence on – http://www.insidecrm.com/features/50-social-sites-012808/

# File Sharing

File Sharing – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/File_sharing
Privacy in file sharing networks – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Privacy_in_file_sharing_networks
DarkNET Conglomeration – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/DarkNET_Conglomeration
Darknet (file sharing) – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Darknet_%28file_sharing%29
Freenet – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Freenet
Private P2P (peer-to-peer) – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Private_peer-to-peer

Anonymous P2P – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anonymous_P2P

Anonymity – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anonymity

http://www.anonymous-p2p.org/

A list of P2P Networks and Clients
http://filesharefreak.com/2008/01/02/a-list-of-file-sharing-networks/

Darknets (Private Internet & File Sharing)
http://filesharefreak.com/2007/12/16/darknets-private-internet-file-sharing/

$ Random / Multi File-Sharing Network supporting Clients
Shareaza – http://shareaza.sourceforge.net/
MLDonkey- http://mldonkey.sourceforge.net/Main_Page
OneSwarm – http://oneswarm.cs.washington.edu/
Frostwire – http://www.frostwire.com/
Waste – http://wasteagain.sourceforge.net/
Freenet – http://freenetproject.org/
GNUnet – http://gnunet.org/

Gnutella – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Gnutella
eMule Project – http://www.emule-project.net/
aMule – http://www.amule.org/
GTK-Gnutella – http://gtk-gnutella.sourceforge.net
iMule – http://www.imule.i2p.tin0.de/

$ BitTorrent
Vuze – http://www.vuze.com/
Deluge – http://deluge-torrent.org/
Transmission – http://www.transmissionbt.com/
Torrentflux – http://www.torrentflux.com/
libTorrent and rTorrent Project – http://libtorrent.rakshasa.no/

Hexagon – https://hexagon.cc/ (Share torrents and videos in public or private groups that you can easily create and moderate.)

BitTorrent (software) – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/BitTorrent_%28software%29
BitTorrent (protocol) – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/BitTorrent_%28protocol%29
Torrent file – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Torrent_file
Comparison of BitTorrent clients – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Comparison_of_BitTorrent_clients
Comparison of BitTorrent sites – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Comparison_of_BitTorrent_sites

$ DC (Direct Connect)
ApexDC++ – http://www.apexdc.net/
FullDC – http://fuldc.berlios.de/
DC++ – http://dcplusplus.sourceforge.net/
BCDC++ – http://utrum.dyndns.org:8000/
StrongDC++ – http://strongdc.sourceforge.net/

# Information Sharing & “Keyword” Searching

Freedom of information – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Freedom_of_information
Data mining – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Data_mining

Wikimedia Foundation – https://secure.wikimedia.org/

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia – https://secure.wikimedia.org/

Search Engines – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Search_engine

https://google.com
https://ssl.scroogle.org (Privacy Enhanced)

https://ixquick.com      (Privacy Enhanced)

https://www.duckduckgo.com/  (Privacy Enhanced)

https://isohunt.com
https://thepiratebay.org/
http://www.filestube.com/
http://www.deeppeep.org/ (Discover Hidden Web)
http://www.deepwebwiki.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page (Search beyond the Search Engine)
http://search-pdf-books.com/
http://dogpile.com/
http://www.wikileaks.org/
http://www.wolframalpha.com/
http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/
http://www.crystalinks.com/
http://www.educate-yourself.org/

https://twitter.com/

http://www.sacred-texts.com/

http://www.archive.org/

http://creativecommons.org/

# IM (Instant Messaging) / Voip

Pidgin Multi-Chat-Client – http://pidgin.im

Voice over IP – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Voip

SIP – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Session_Initiation_Protocol

Linphone – http://www.linphone.org/
Off-the-Record Messaging – http://www.cypherpunks.ca/otr/
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Off-the-Record_Messaging
Zfone (Secure Voip) – http://zfoneproject.com/
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Zfone

Encrypyted Chat Clients – http://www.infoanarchy.org/en/Encrypted_Chat_Clients

IRC – Internet Relay Chat – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Internet_Relay_Chat

XMPP (Open Source Standard) – http://xmpp.org/http://www.jabber.org/

Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Extensible_Messaging_and_Presence_Protocol

SILC – http://silcnet.org/

Secure Internet Live Conferencing protocol – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/SILC_%28protocol%29

Comparison of instant messaging clients – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Comparison_of_instant_messaging_clients

Comparison of instant messaging protocols – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Comparison_of_instant_messaging_protocols

Multiprotocol instant messaging application – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Multiprotocol_instant_messaging_application

Secure communication – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Secure_communication

Public-key cryptography – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Public-key_cryptography

Synchronous conferencing – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Synchronous_conferencing

SIMPLE – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/SIMPLE

SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (simple) – http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/simple/charter/

# Alternative / Free Independent Media

Independent media – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Independent_media
Alternative media – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Alternative_media
http://www.rense.com/
http://www.globalresearch.ca/
https://www.indymedia.org/
http://redicecreations.com/

http://www.disinfo.com/

http://www.naturalnews.com/

http://www.projectcensored.org/

# Radio / Video / TV / Media Broadcasting

http://video.google.com/
http://youtube.com
http://vimeo.com/
http://disclose.tv/
http://www.sopcast.com/
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/
http://www.shoutcast.com
http://videolan.org

http://www.getmiro.com/

http://www.podomatic.com

# Encryption

OpenPGP – http://www.openpgp.org/
The GNU Privacy Guard – http://www.gnupg.org/
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/GNU_Privacy_Guard
Pretty Good Privacy – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Pretty_Good_Privacy
Enigmail: A simple interface for OpenPGP email security – http://enigmail.mozdev.org/

# Network Anonmity

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anonymity
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anonymous_web_browsing
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Internet_privacy
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/OpenNet_Initiative
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anonymous_remailer
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Mixmaster_anonymous_remailer
Comparison of anonymous networks – http://www.planetpeer.de/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
Tor – https://www.torproject.org/
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Tor_%28anonymity_network%29
JAP/Jondo – http://anon.inf.tu-dresden.de/index_en.htmlhttps://anonymous-proxy-servers.net/en/
I2P Anonymous Network – http://www.i2p2.de/
http://openvpn.net
http://anonet.org/

The first, “9-11, U.S. Intelligence, and the Real World,” will discuss the specifics of how we failed and why we will continue to fail. The second, “The Failure of 20th Century Intelligence,” will discuss the specifics of how American intelligence has blown it in collection, in processing, in analysis, in leadership, and in mindset. If desired, for those who last into the night, other briefs will be available, including “New Rules for the New Craft of Intelligence” and “The Literature of Intelligence: Why People Hate Us and Why We Don’t Get It.”

Robert Steele spent 30 years in the classified world and gave a four-hour lecture at the fifth HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) convention about reforming the intelligence community. His thesis is that most of what politicians and citizens need to know to make informed decisions is not secret. So while covert spying has its place, we should be paying much more attention to open sources of information. These sources include newspapers, websites, speeches, studies, etc, and this methodology is called Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT.

CIA Officer- Robert Steele tells it like it is (Video)
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlVCbWlx5y8&fmt=18
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoUMyudlYFY&fmt=18

Gnomedex – Robert Steele (Video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Afb8H-1fcYU&fmt=18

Spy Improv with Robert Steele (Video) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZx9ezg-rfQ&fmt=18

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Spying, 9-11, and Why We Continue to Screw Up by Robert Steele (Audio)
Part 1: http://www.the-fifth-hope.org/mp3/steele-1.mp3
Part 2: http://www.the-fifth-hope.org/mp3/steele-2.mp3
Part 3: http://www.the-fifth-hope.org/mp3/steele-3.mp3
Part 4: http://www.the-fifth-hope.org/mp3/steele-4.mp3
Part 5: http://www.the-fifth-hope.org/mp3/steele-5.mp3

Sources / References:

http://www.courtwright.org/RobertSteele/index.html
http://www.the-fifth-hope.org/hoop/5hope_speakers.khtml

Robert David Steele from Wikipedia – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Robert_David_Steele

Open Source intelligence from Wikipedia – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Open_source_intelligence

Collective Intelligence from Wikipedia – https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Collective_intelligence

Amazon.com: Profile for Robert D. Steele – https://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A1S8AJIUIO6M9K/

OSS.NET (Open Source Solutions) – http://www.oss.net/

Earth Intelligence Network – http://www.earth-intelligence.net/

Public Intelligence Blog – http://www.phibetaiota.net/

The Next HOPE (Hackers of Planet Earth) – http://thenexthope.org/

Fast Track Access to Library “Here are one-click links into segments of the 30,000 pages including all conference presentations.
http://www.oss.net/extra/news/?module_instance=1&id=2345

http://www.oss.net/BASIC [one-page of links]

http://www.oss.net/LIBRARY [sortable searchable]

http://www.oss.net/OSINT-S [strategic OSINT]

http://www.oss.net/OSINT-O [operational OSINT]

http://www.oss.net/HACK [Re-Inventing Intelligence]

http://www.oss.net/UNICEF [Open Intelligence]

http://www.oss.net/UNODIN [UN Class Before One]

‘The idea of collective intelligence is gaining acceptance’

The rarely restful mind of 30-year Intelligence Community (IC) veteran Robert David Steele (who, among his varied IC missions served as a CIA clandestine services case officer, co-founded the Marine Corps Intelligence Center and is the undisputed, tireless champion of open source intelligence, (OSINT) is filled with futurist concepts for IC reformation, restructuring and rethinking that are inspired, brilliant … and soaked with common sense.

At least that’s according to not just a few past and present admiring, progressive in their own right IC vets who extol Steele’s visions and who agree with his more often than not incendiary bomb-throwing notions about why the post-9/11 reformation of the IC is far from complete in so far as meeting 21st Century intelligence requirements and decision-level support from the President to the beat cop on the street.

Within the context of having watched and studied the machinations of the Intelligence Community for decades – with six books to show for it – Steele’s vision of how intelligence collection and dissemination – from the spy satellite in the sky to a citizen on a street corner with a camera cell phone – should operate in the 21st Century is either wildly enlightened, according to his champions … wildly entertaining and near lunatic, by his detractors … or wildly and completely out of touch by his stodgy old school contemporaries.

“Robert is one of the most influential and visionary people in the world of intelligence today. His ideas are truly awe inspiring and revolutionary. Robert’s message of open source intelligence is so simple that it’s almost mind-boggling to conceive that we don’t actively practice this today. His ideas to bring change to human civilization through open ideas and communication are what we need to become a better society,” said Douglas S. Simar, a communications technology specialist.

Not just a few notable past and present IC members and, especially, IC reformists themselves, have commented that Steele’s myriad expositions on intelligence ought to be required reading among the rank and file from the appointed, hired and elected top echelon policy and acquisition decision-makers to entry level practitioners. But more than that, his intellectual tenacity to envision the intelligence schema for the future ought to be taken advantage of by the current politically beholden-appointed chieftains and congressional overseers of America’s intelligence combine.

But the why behind why that isn’t happening cuts to the crux of some of the historical bureaucratic hindrances that have deeply rooted themselves into the IC’s foundation that Steele – and others – rail against, and has prevented the forward momentum of reform and restructuring as recommended by the 9/11 Commission, and intended by the post-9/11 congressional restructuring of the IC.

Insiders candidly told HSToday.us that those who sidestep Steele as though he is made of kryptonite stems from the fact that his progressive thinking is, well, is beyond the pale. It’s just much too deep for either the politically appointed intelligence custodians or the benefactors who appointed them, or their legislative minders. In other words, it’s all beyond the cognitive capabilities of all these folks’ mental gymnastic abilities of reasoning and understanding, as a number of Steele’s admirers said – on background, of course.

Indeed. Steele’s thinking poses a distinct threat to the status quo whose status quo repeatedly has been identified as being the principal impediment to the creation of a 21st Century Intelligence Community in scores of government and congressional blue-ribbon and NGO commissions, not the least of which was the 9/11 Commission itself, important elements of which still haven’t been taken seriously by Congress because it would require certain committees, subcommittees and their respective chairs to give up their power over appropriations. It’s a lot like the multitide of congressional committees that – despite the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for leaner oversight – insist on overseeing the Department of Homeland Security.

Steele’s steely vision of what needs to be done pre- and post-9/11 – which he’d been proselytizing long before any of these distinguished empanelments came to many of the same conclusions – are considered too volatile to be allowed within the sacrosanct corridors of this still stove-piped and turf protecting status quo.

Hence Steele’s familiarly combustible sort of observation: “We are a dumb nation with an idiot government, and every time I see another good old boy getting to the top, I think to myself, ‘in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king – especially if he does blow jobs on demand.’”

“Robert Steele is about 100 times as smart and 10,000 times as dangerous as the best of the hackers, for he is successfully hacking the most challenging of bureaucracies, the US Intelligence Community, and doing it for the right reasons,” observed noted futurist technology author, Bruce Sterling, writing in Hacker Crackdown: Law and Order on the Electronic Frontier.”

“Few have thought as deeply or imaginatively about such questions as [this] super-smart former Marine and intelligence officer named Robert D. Steele …,” said the noted futurist writing team of Alvin and Heidi Toffler, who featured Steele in the chapter, “The Future of the Spy,” in their seminal 1993 book, “War and Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century.”

Take, for instance, Steele’s “no duh” reality check on value-added intelligence analysis versus secret sources:

“The all-source analysts can no longer rest their conclusions and their reputation on the two percent of the information they deal with, most of it from secret sources. In an era when over 90 percent—some would say over 95 percent—of the relevant information is readily available to anyone in the private sector, and especially in the absence of processing and translation capabilities available to the mainstream profit-making institutions, it is analytic tradecraft—a truly superior ability to create value-added insights through superior analytical knowledge (including historical knowledge) and technique—that distinguishes and gives value to the new craft of analysis.”

“We still need spies and secrecy, but only as the ten percent special element of all-source intelligence, which is itself nothing more than ten percent of Information Operations (IO),” Steele believes.

Wow!

For the more than a decade that I’ve known Steele, he’s advocated more and better use of OSINT, which historically has supposed to be part of the “all-source intelligence collection” process, but which in fact has been relegated to virtual obscurity because the established IC mindset has been that the only truly important intelligence is that which comes from the dark dominion of classified intelligence collection processes.

“And open sources (CIA insiders call it ‘Open Sores’) do not generate the outrageous overhead and profit bonanzas for contractors who today consume 70 percent of the total secret world’s budget,” Steele candidly stated.

Steele has long forcefully argued that that just ain’t so. Steele wrote nearly three years ago in Forbes ASAP that “US intelligence is upside down and inside out. It is upside down because it relies on satellites in outer space rather than human eyes on the ground. It is inside out because it tries to divine intelligence unilaterally, without first asking anyone else what information they might provide.”

Steele wrote that “despite high-profile intelligence failures such as September 11, a series of directors of Central Intelligence have failed to significantly change the way we collect and process information. They simply have not gotten it through their heads that intelligence is about knowing enough to make smart decisions at all levels, on all subjects, not just about stealing very expensive secrets on a handful of what they call ‘hard targets’ – China, Iran, Russia and a few others.

“Fortunately, the idea of ‘collective intelligence’ is gaining acceptance – at least outside of government circles.”

“In short,” Steele noted, “collective intelligence relies on the combined brain power of large groups of people. We see it at work when political parties choose a candidate or create policy platforms. We see it on the Internet, when groups of strangers solve problems and edit collaborative encyclopedia entries. We see it in the behavior of ants, which are capable of maintaining complicated nests and executing huge military raids, tasks far beyond the intellectual abilities of one ant.”

Steele has observed that “we saw collective intelligence at work in the wake of the 2004 tsunami that ravaged South Asia. After the waters receded, international citizens with cell phones and cameras started sending photos and text messages back to their friends at home. All over the world, volunteers jumped in to set up bulletin boards on the status of survivors, helping families reunite or check on loved ones. A hundred citizens on the ground, with eyes on target and cell phones in hand, proved themselves far more useful than one spy could ever be.”

In 2006, Steele morphed from teaching and proselytizing OSINT to espousing “Collective Intelligence,” and in 2008 he published the book, “Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace.” Edited by Canadian Mark Tovey, a Ph.D student at the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University, the book had 55 contributors, including the former Prime Minister of Canada.

But how can this notion of “collective intelligence” be incorporated into status quo intelligence reform?

Steele suggests a national Open Source Agency, half of the money to be earmarked for meeting traditional intelligence foreign intelligence requirements and the other half for 50 state-wide Citizen Intelligence Networks, including a 24/7 watch center “where citizens can both obtain and input information.”

“We could even establish new emergency intelligence phone numbers that would allow “any housewife, cab driver or delivery boy to contribute to our national security,” Steele posited. “All they have to do is be alert, and if they see something, take a cell phone photograph and send it in with a text message. If three different people notice the same suspicious person taking photographs of a nuclear plant, for instance, it could be hugely important. The system could even evolve to automatically mobilize emergency workers or warn citizens. Imagine if after people alerted the network about a roadside car bomb, it automatically sent text messages to every phone in the immediate area, warning people to stay away.”

Using a baseball analogy, Steele explains that “in the old days, government bureaucrats accustomed to unlimited budgets and secret methods would try to win a game simply by bribing a player (clandestine intelligence), putting a ‘bug’ in the dug-out (signals intelligence), trying to ‘sniff’ the direction and speed of the ball (measurements and signatures intelligence), or taking a satellite picture of the field every three days (imagery intelligence).”

Today, Steele updates his wicked humor by noting that the clunky imagery satellites have been replaced by 24/7 Predators circling high overhead, and “if we don’t like the umpire’s call, we simply take out [the target] with a missile, never mind the collateral damage.”

But “this approach is no longer appropriate,” he insists, saying that “in our new era, everyone, including any terrorist, has the option of using open sources of information that are equal or superior to secret sources.”

The terrorists who attacked locations in the heart of Mumbai last November relied on Google Earth, Internet maps, cell phone texting and other open source intelligenc.

“The new craft of intelligence requires all the players to function as part of a team, and asks them to win however they can. It uses the collective wisdom of all the participants. It encourages the crowd to participate. Open source intelligence harnesses what everyone sees and knows. It changes the rules of the game.”

Consequently, in Steele’s world, “we must study, digitize, translate and learn from the history of all nations and peoples and lands. We must share the cost of collecting and understanding all information in all languages with knowledgeable individuals from all nations, not just our own. We must harness the distributed intelligence of the entire nation, such that everyone might participate. We will still need spies and secrecy, but improved use of public intelligence will allow them to focus more narrowly.”

[Editor’s note: Steele’s ideas as relevant to homeland security are explored in-depth in his fifth book, “The Smart Nation Act: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest”]

More recently, influenced by the Swedish conference on Peacekeeping Intelligence that he helped organize in 2004, Steele has morphed again, moving beyond collective intelligence as a concept and into what he and the Swedes now call M4IS2, or Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2).

Since 1988, under different rubrics, Steele has been the foremost international proponent for intelligence reform with an emphasis on multinational information-sharing and “sense-making” that emphasizes a greater reliance on collective OSINT, all leading to what he describes as “the creation of a dynamic World Brain and EarthGame that give the public access to all information in all languages all the time.”

A serial pioneer of the first order, Steele suffered over 20 years of dismissal by the government he worked for, including being called a lunatic by CIA managers in 1992 when he first put forward the idea of collective open intelligence networks in the Whole Earth Review article, “E3i: Ethics, Ecology, Evolution and Intelligence: An Alternative Paradigm.”

But futurists have been dismissed throughout history, despite the lesson from history that the concepts of many visionaries were eventually proven accurate. When mass casualty medical emergency preparedness authority Peter Marghella – then a US Navy Commander – in 1998 postulated a possible future anthrax attack, he “was roundly criticized in Navy circles for being a chicken little for describing a scenario in which the sky is falling,” he told HSToday.us. “I was told nobody would ever attack us with anthrax, that a scenario involving an attack with a biological agent was nothing more than pure science fiction.”

For more than a decade, Steele’s company, Open Source Solutions – now joined by the Earth Intelligence Network, a certified 501c3 public charity – convened an annual intelligence conference in the Washington, DC metro area that repeatedly attracted cadres of cerebral intelligence thinkers from around the world. It was a yearly event that was looked forward to. Each was a rigorous mental exercise in forward thinking intelligence stimulation. It also was the only event world-wide to draw mid-career intelligence officers into open association with one another, with close to 50 different nations engaged.

In 2005, when the IC was reformed and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) was established to oversee the IC in the biggest shake-up of the IC in more than 40 years and the DNI stood up the IC’s first official OSINT office, many assumed Steele’s long hard fought battle had finally been won. But according to a variety of IC insiders, the appointment of an Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Sources (ADDNI/OS) was more of a stalemate than a clear-cut battlefield victory, and had more to do with resistance to the utility of open source intelligence rather than the people tasked with trying to make the IC’s first official OSINT office do what it’s supposed to.

Despite early advances by the new open source office, internal critics say subsequent variants of ODNI’s open source efforts have fallen short due to squabbling at higher policymaking levels where the belief that secret intelligence still reigns supreme holds fast.

For the most part, OSINT does continue to be treated as the equivalent of the proverbial red-headed step child, taking a backseat to secret intelligence. Which is all good and fine, Steele readily concedes – when it comes to things like imagery monitoring of the goings-on at hard targets or the interception of electronic communications that provide real-time, actionable intelligence – like, say, on an impending attack or an attack in progress.

But when it comes to the utilization of OSINT to understand societal, cultural and tribal developments that could give forewarnings of emerging threats, that’s something secret intelligence collection activities historically haven’t been able to provide – and made much worse by the lack of accessible institutional memory – both secret and open source – that can be understood by a collaboration among seasoned subject-matter experts.

Steele points to the 2004 report of the United Nations High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change.

“That report, in which Lt. Gen. Dr. Brent Scowcraft, [USAF, Ret.] served as the US representative, changed my life,” Steele said. He explained that “it provided for the first time a global list of threats in priority order, from poverty to transnational crime, and allowed me to both demonstrate that OSINT is vastly more relevant to all of these threats than is secret intelligence. It was that report that inspired me to identify the twelve core policies from agriculture to water that must be harmonized, and to fund the creation of the Earth Intelligence Network.”

Perhaps only similarly, the IC subsequently developed intelligence estimates highlighting the threats to national security from things like infectious diseases – including hospital acquired infections, or HAIs; climate change and food and water shortages.

In this context, the failure of the IC – and, by extrapolation, in-the-dark lawmakers – in the 1980s to exploit OSINT and private sector subject matter authorities to understand that Middle East terrorist movements’ core belief systems are underpinned by a religious doctrine that demands a global jihad to establish a worldwide caliphate, had as much to do with underestimating the machinations of fundamentalist Islam as it did with the malfunction to connect the dots of the 9/11 plotting.

“Unfortunately, our spies and our satellites have lost touch with reality, for they collect less than ten percent of the relevant information that we must digest to understand the complex multi-cultural world that is now capable of producing very wealthy and suicidal terrorists,” Steele has repeatedly expressed in papers and public addresses.

Writing for the US Institute of Peace in the 1990’s, Steele said “in an age characterized by distributed information, where the majority of the expertise is in the private sector, the concept of ‘central intelligence’ is an oxymoron, and its attendant concentration on secrets is an obstacle to both national defense and global peace,”adding that “the underlying threat to peace and prosperity-the cause of causes-is the ever-widening chasm between policymakers with power, and private sector experts and participants with knowledge.”

Steele contends that “neither classified information nor information technology alone can bridge this gap – but both can make a positive contribution if they are managed within a larger information strategy that focuses on content as well as connectivity, and enables policymakers to draw upon the expertise available in the private sector. We thus require a strategy to create a ‘virtual intelligence community’ able to both inform governance, and also carry out a new kind of virtual diplomacy: ‘information peacekeeping.’”

“Information peacekeeping,” Steele explains, “can help avoid and resolve conflict, and represents the conceptual, technical, and practical foundation for successful virtual diplomacy – virtual intelligence ‘is’ virtual diplomacy.”

Steele first developed his ideas along these lines when he served as the senior civilian co-founder of the Marine Corps Intelligence Center (today a command), and succeeded in persuading the Commandant of the Marine Corps at the time, Gen. Al Gray, of the merit of this view.

In Gray’s Winter 1989-1990 American Intelligence Journal paper, “Global Intelligence Challenges of the 1990’s,” it is easy to see Steele’s handwriting in support of the General. Gray’s call for using open source intelligence to make the case for “peaceful preventive measures” is considered by not just a few to be the single most intelligent observation of any serving leader in the US government then and since.

Among intelligence practioneers and OSINT advocates, Steele is well-known for, in 1995, having highlighted the IC’s various departments and agencies’ “failure to fulfill their responsibilities for collecting, processing and analyzing open source information relevant to their missions.” He’s even gone so far as to call all senior IC managers derelict in their duties and in betrayal of the public trust – a pretty brash sentiment, to be sure. One not likely to win over detractors … least of all friends.

But Steele has proven the point of his vision. Perhaps the best example is when the 1995-1996 Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the US Intelligence Community – empowered by Congress to explore the rennovation of the IC – wanted to test secret vs. OSINT. It respectively tasked Steele and the CIA to produce an up-to-date analytical report on the then civil war torn nation of Burundi. Overnight, Steele, using only OSINT, provided the Commission with a remarkably detailed and accurate report on Burundi.

Meanwhile, the CIA turned in a flawed economic analysis while none of the other secret agencies could offer anything of substance. It was this exercise that helped persuade the Commission to conclude that OSINT should be a top priority for funding within the IC, and which later influenced then Rep. Lee Hamilton – co-chair of the 9/11 Commission – to approve the call for an Open Source Agency being inserted on page 413 of the 9/11 Commission Report at the last minute – literally in the dead of night as the Commission’s report went to press.

By 2000, when Steele’s book, “On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World,” was first published (and now is in its third printing), former Sen. David Boren, the long-time chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of Congress’ Iran-Contra investigation, noted in his foreword to the book that the Commission’s reforms had not yet been implemented by any of the Directors of Central Intelligence who had an opportunity to do so.

So, despite subsequent IC reform commissions’ identical recommended reforms, they continued to be ignored, just as have some of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission – including its recommendations for greater funding and utilization of OSINT and localized law enforcement intelligence along the lines of what Steele has long advocated, especially with regard to OSINT and localized “ground truth” – beat cop-level proccessible collective intelligence that could indicate domestic terrorist plotting.

Increasingly, fusion intelligence centers and domestic counterterror intelligence officials have argued that it’s much more likely that the local cop on the street will spot something suspiciously out of place that will lead to the discovery of a terrorist cell or an activity associated with attack plotting. At the same time, classified fusion centers are being reduced for lack of meaningful secret information to collate at the local level. Or are coming under fire for spying on domestic protest organizations or using a broad brush to paint certain conservative thought as an indication that certain individuals’ have proclivities toward terrorist-like violence against the government, as the Missouri Information Analysis Center recently came under fire for doing.

The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) in Oklahoma City has reinforced this notion through its Law Enforcement Intelligence Capacity Building Program for uniformed police officers. MIPT believes that America’s state, local and tribal law enforcement officers “are the bedrock of counterterrorism and crime prevention.”

MIPT Deputy Director David Cid, a former FBI counterterror specialist, outlined the MIPT program – and highlighted it’s success in having imparted to a street cop the information necessary to act on the suspicious activities of a man that led to the discovery that he was making and trying to sell IEDs to street gangs – in his HSToday.us “Best Practices” report, “Keeping Bombs off America’s Streets: A Case Study of Prevention in Oklahoma City.”

Similarly, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has committed to a strong OSINT program which it is finding is at least as helpful if not more beneficial than anything they receive from any branch of the federal government.

“We need a ‘new craft of intelligence’ that can access and digest the broad historical, cultural and current events knowledge that is available openly [in hundreds of languages] – by exploiting these open sources we can create open source intelligence suitable for informing our public as well as our state and local authorities and our international partners, as to the threats to our nation,” Steele wrote in a TIME op-ed.

“Intelligence without translation is ignorant,” Steele told HSToday.us, explaining that “this requires very strong emphasis. The failure of our government to translate all of the Arabic documents captured after the first World Trade Center bombing will stand in history as the single dumbest counterintelligence decision ever made.”

“Conceptually, doctrinally and financially,” Steele said, “we have disparaged and blocked out the reality that the really important intelligence information is more often than not going to be in a foreign language. We must have an army of translators and a capability to rapidly scan in foreign language materials, route them to the right person, and get back accurate translations within 24 hours – for long documents, this may require a combination of 20-30 people, all working through the Internet. America is too great a nation to be ‘out of touch’ with the realities and perceptions of the rest of the world. This is an easily established capability; it simply needs funding and attention.”

According to a source who preferred not to be identified, HSToday.us was told that the normal turn-around time for documents in Dari captured in Afghanistan is three to four weeks, and that this is because of a lack of cleared Dari translators in country.

Steele, who divulged that he was aware of this from another source, observed that “in this day and age, that is criminal incompetence. Documents captured at the tactical level should be translated by whatever means necessary within 48 hours at the most, and ideally within 12 hours – the sun should never set on a multinational decision-support centre with 24/7 global translations capabilities.”

The problem of paucity of translators and IC subject matter speakers and linguists is a problem that has plagued the IC – and the FBI – for decades.

After reading the National Intelligence Council’s November 2008 unclassified report, “Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World,” Steele said “a careful reading of the administrative remarks at the beginning suggests that the analysis, sources and methods were starkly limited, were not multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary or multidomain in nature, and did not include clever utilization of advanced information processing and visualization nor any form of analytic model intended to assure an integrative delivery that might actually help decision-makers responsible for developing strategy, policy, force structure and acquisition or operations.”

Not one to mince his words, Steele said “the report is sophomoric at multiple levels …”

“Neither classified information nor information technology alone can bridge this gap, but both can make a positive contribution if they are managed within a larger information strategy which focuses on content as well as connectivity, and enables policymakers to draw upon the expertise available in the private sector. We thus require a strategy to create a ‘virtual intelligence community’ that’s able to both inform governance, and also carry out a new kind of virtual diplomacy: ‘information peacekeeping.’ Information peacekeeping can help avoid and resolve conflict and represents the conceptual, technical and practical foundation for successful virtual diplomacy – virtual intelligence ‘is’ virtual diplomacy.”

But, Steele says bluntly … and often, “the existing Intelligence Community is pathologically wasteful, irrelevant and misguided. It does nothing of consequence for homeland security, it does nothing of consequence against eight of the ten high-level threats to humanity, and it does nothing useful for most of the Cabinet or all of Congress. As Gen. Anthony Zinni (former Commander in Chief of the US Central Command) pointed out, it provides, at best,’ four percent of a top commander’s needed knowledge.”

“Eighty percent of what I needed to know as CINCENT I got from open sources rather than classified reporting,” Zinni said. “And with within the remaining 20 percent, if I knew what to look for, I found another 16 percent. At the end of it all, classified intelligence provided me, at best, with four percent of my command knowledge.”

“The secret world needs tough love right now, and an outsider will not succeed,” Steele believes, adding that there “are three things that the new DNI must be prepared to do. First, persuade the president that the national intelligence agencies in defense must be moved under the DNI’s total authority. They are costing the taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year and not delivering equivalent value. Second, immediately establish an Open Source Agency and related UN and multinational sense-making initiatives under diplomatic auspices. Third, end the out-sourcing of all-source intelligence analysis as well as clandestine operations – those are inherently governmental functions.”

At a conference in Sweden last week on peacekeeping intelligence attended by intelligence authorities from governments and NGOs from around the world at which Steele was keynote speaker, there was unanimous confirmation of not only Steele’s positions on OSINT, but also his notions regarding an overall 21st Century intelligence collection, interpretation and analysis stratagem.

Notably, there wasn’t a single American participant from any US combatant command or any element of the Office of the Secretary of Defense in attendance, according to participants and an attendee list.

Colonel (Ret.) Jan-Inge Svensson, project manager and senior advisor for the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sweden, former head of intelligence at the European Union Operational Headquarters and commanding officer of the Swedish Armed Forces Intelligence and Security Center from 1997 – 2003, made the following points:

* Evaluation of sources and information. We must be able to gain information from all sources, evaluate their biases and strengths, and bring this all together;
* What is intelligence? It is the process of discovering and processing information. The source may be secret or not secret but intelligence as a process is not classified. Intelligence is the outcome of the intelligence process, decision-support;
* Cultural awareness and cultural clashes (this includes understanding cultural signals). Secret sources may not be the best here – open sources may be the best;
* Open Source Intelligence. This needs to be understood in relation to our needs for coverage of humanitarian crises, crime and other threats; it can promote information sharing as well as help ensure multinational elements are well-informed;
* Use of media information;
* Human Intelligence (HUMINT). A great deal of HUMINT is not classified, and comes from UN observers and others, it is essential that there is a flow of information relevant to the mission among all these human parties.

Whether or not aided by shared information technologies, the exchange of information is vital and must be accomplished.

Svensson noted that the “recycling of information is a major problem when units lack an institutional memory.”

For decades Steele has harped on the failure of retention of easily accessible, dot-connecting-capable institutional intelligence by IC analytical shops.

He recently summed up his take on the IC:

“Right now, $65 billion a year, 70 percent of which is spent on contractors rather than government employees, buys a vast range of largely failed technical systems for collecting everything it is possible to steal, while ignoring the 80 percent that is openly available in 183 languages we do not comprehend.

“The secret world has no knowledge of history, of culture, of family and tribal networks, of values,” Steele said.

“The secret world is not capable of bringing all that it knows together in any one place because it has never invested in processing what it collects. The secret world is not capable of making sense of what it collects, despite a massive hiring binge, because its security and payroll habits demand the hiring of children rather than mid-career accomplished authorities, and its cult of secrecy precludes its consulting world-class experts who lack US citizenship and the kind of boring sedentary life that is easy for thick-necked security officers to ‘validate’ as being free from foreign influence.”

Beyond all this, Steele posits that “national intelligence” should “be defined as decision support for every Cabinet member, all of the assistant secretaries, and – dare I even suggest – every action officer in every federal agency?”

And “what about Congress?” Steele asked. “No congressional jurisdiction gets decision support today – they are flooded with information from stakeholders, the Congressional Research Service gives them bland inoffensive summaries, and the Government Accountability Office, which does a stellar job with little support, is simply ignored.”

“Beyond Congress, what about the state and local government officials who have been very poorly served by the top secret joint fusion centers now closing down for lack of anything to do, or the Department of Homeland Security whose technology innovation budget could have put a very large number of our less fortunate students through college?”

Asked about his plans for the future, Steele said, “Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) taught me it takes 25 years to move the beast. This is year 20. I am optimistic because the change curve for government runs flat for 20 years, and then goes vertical. To paraphrase Trotsky, the US govermment may not be interested in reality, but reality is assuredly interested in the United States.”

Continuing, Steele said “I have sought, with great diligence, to help my own government for 20 years, and it pains me that 90 countries today have a better appreciation for OSINT than does the US government. The sad truth is the US government under the two-party bi-opoly is now quasi-senile, and we must look to other demographic powers to take the lead.

“As of today, I am focusing on the Swedish presidency of the European Union, and the potential axis of good in the African Union, where Libyan money and South African training can be combined to good effect. It is with great sadness that I abandon my effort to help the USA from within, and look instead to Europe and Africa and Asia for the future of intelligence … I did my best for my country, now I will try to do my best for the rest of the world.”

Source Link: http://www.hstoday.us/content/view/7964/150/

By Robert David Steele

New York – On Sept. 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked by terrorists who intended to crash them into a series of high-profile U.S. targets. Two crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The third collided with the Pentagon. But passengers on the fourth plane were alerted to the crisis while still in the air. They fought back, and the plane went down in rural Pennsylvania, sparing its intended target, the U.S. Capitol.

In other words, the only hijacked airplane that failed to hit its target on Sept. 11 was the one where informed citizens were able to take direct action. It gave proof that our national security establishment is broken. A $500 billion per year defense department and a $50 billion per year secret intelligence community failed where a few brave citizens armed only with cell phones succeeded.

This tragic event illustrates the way we must reinvent our national intelligence system. The threats we face don’t lend themselves to pre-planned, centrally controlled government direction. Only a nation in which each citizen is both a collector and consumer of intelligence, able to share information adequately and in real time, will survive the tribulations to come.

Today, U.S. “intelligence” is upside down and inside out. It is upside down because it relies on satellites in outer space rather than human eyes on the ground. It is inside out because it tries to divine intelligence unilaterally, without first asking anyone else what information they might provide.

Despite high-profile intelligence failures such as Sept. 11, a series of directors of Central Intelligence have failed to significantly change the way we collect and process information. They simply have not gotten it through their heads that intelligence is about knowing enough to make smart decisions at all levels, on all subjects, not just about stealing very expensive secrets on a handful of what they call “hard targets”–China, Iran, Russia and a few others.

Fortunately, the idea of “collective intelligence” is gaining acceptance–at least outside of government circles.

In short, collective intelligence relies on the combined brain power of large groups of people. We see it at work when political parties choose a candidate or create policy platforms. We see it on the Internet, when groups of strangers solve problems and edit collaborative encyclopedia entries. We even see it in the behavior of ants, which are capable of maintaining complicated nests and executing huge military raids, tasks far beyond the intellectual abilities of any one ant.

We also saw collective intelligence at work in the wake of the 2004 tsunami that ravaged South Asia. After the waters receded, international citizens with cell phones and cameras started sending photos and text messages back to their friends at home. All over the world, volunteers jumped in to set up bulletin boards on the status of survivors, helping families reunite or check on loved ones. A hundred citizens on the ground, with eyes on target and cell phones in hand, proved themselves far more useful than one spy could ever be.

How can we use this to reform intelligence? I suggest we create a national Open Source Agency. Half of the money earmarked for the agency would go toward traditional intelligence work. The other half would provide for 50 state-wide Citizen Intelligence Networks, including a 24/7 watch center, where citizens can both obtain and input information.

We could establish new emergency intelligence phone numbers–think 119 instead of 911–allowing any housewife, cab driver or delivery boy to contribute to our national security. All they have to do is be alert, and if they see something, take a cell phone photograph and send it in with a text message. If three different people notice the same suspicious person taking photographs of a nuclear plant, for instance, it could be hugely important. The system could even evolve to automatically mobilize emergency workers or warn citizens. Imagine if after people alerted the network about a roadside car bomb, it automatically sent text messages to every phone in the immediate area, warning people to stay away.

When you think about how the system will change, it may be helpful to picture national intelligence as a baseball game. In the old days, government bureaucrats accustomed to unlimited budgets and secret methods would try to win a game simply by bribing a player (Clandestine Intelligence), putting a “bug” in the dug-out (Signals Intelligence), trying to “sniff” the direction and speed of the ball (Measurements & Signatures Intelligence), or taking a satellite picture of the field every three days (Imagery Intelligence).

This approach is no longer appropriate. In our new era, everyone, including any terrorist, has the option of using open sources of information that are equal or superior to secret sources. The new craft of intelligence requires all the players to function as part of a team, and asks them to win however they can. It uses the collective wisdom of all the participants. It encourages the crowd to participate. Open source intelligence harnesses what everyone sees and knows. It changes the rules of the game.

We must study, digitize, translate and learn from the history of all nations and peoples and lands. We must share the cost of collecting and understanding all information in all languages with knowledgeable individuals from all nations, not just our own. We must harness the distributed intelligence of the entire nation, such that everyone might participate. We will still need spies and secrecy, but improved use of public intelligence will allow them to focus more narrowly.

“A nation’s best defense is an educated citizenry.” Thomas Jefferson said that. Not only was he right when he said it, but today, his words must lead us to realize the importance of public intelligence.

Robert David Steele is a retired Marine Corps Reserve infantry and intelligence officer who served four years active duty and the remainder in the Individual Ready Reserve. After joining the CIA in 1979, he served three back-to-back tours in Latin America as a clandestine case officer, including one tour as one of the first officers focused full time on terrorism. He is the author of three books about intelligence and the the chief executive of OSS.net .

Source Link: http://www.forbes.com/2006/04/15/open-source-intelligence_cx_rs_06slate_0418steele.html

By Bruce Schneier

Universal identification is portrayed by some as the holy grail of Internet security. Anonymity is bad, the argument goes; and if we abolish it, we can ensure only the proper people have access to their own information. We’ll know who is sending us spam and who is trying to hack into corporate networks. And when there are massive denial-of-service attacks, such as those against Estonia or Georgia or South Korea, we’ll know who was responsible and take action accordingly.

The problem is that it won’t work. Any design of the Internet must allow for anonymity. Universal identification is impossible. Even attribution — knowing who is responsible for particular Internet packets — is impossible. Attempting to build such a system is futile, and will only give criminals and hackers new ways to hide.

Imagine a magic world in which every Internet packet could be traced to its origin. Even in this world, our Internet security problems wouldn’t be solved. There’s a huge gap between proving that a packet came from a particular computer and that a packet was directed by a particular person. This is the exact problem we have with botnets, or pedophiles storing child porn on innocents’ computers. In these cases, we know the origins of the DDoS packets and the spam; they’re from legitimate machines that have been hacked. Attribution isn’t as valuable as you might think.

Implementing an Internet without anonymity is very difficult, and causes its own problems. In order to have perfect attribution, we’d need agencies — real-world organizations — to provide Internet identity credentials based on other identification systems: passports, national identity cards, driver’s licenses, whatever. Sloppier identification systems, based on things such as credit cards, are simply too easy to subvert. We have nothing that comes close to this global identification infrastructure. Moreover, centralizing information like this actually hurts security because it makes identity theft that much more profitable a crime.

And realistically, any theoretical ideal Internet would need to allow people access even without their magic credentials. People would still use the Internet at public kiosks and at friends’ houses. People would lose their magic Internet tokens just like they lose their driver’s licenses and passports today. The legitimate bypass mechanisms would allow even more ways for criminals and hackers to subvert the system.

On top of all this, the magic attribution technology doesn’t exist. Bits are bits; they don’t come with identity information attached to them. Every software system we’ve ever invented has been successfully hacked, repeatedly. We simply don’t have anywhere near the expertise to build an airtight attribution system.

Not that it really matters. Even if everyone could trace all packets perfectly, to the person or origin and not just the computer, anonymity would still be possible. It would just take one person to set up an anonymity server. If I wanted to send a packet anonymously to someone else, I’d just route it through that server. For even greater anonymity, I could route it through multiple servers. This is called onion routing and, with appropriate cryptography and enough users, it adds anonymity back to any communications system that prohibits it.

Attempts to banish anonymity from the Internet won’t affect those savvy enough to bypass it, would cost billions, and would have only a negligible effect on security. What such attempts would do is affect the average user’s access to free speech, including those who use the Internet’s anonymity to survive: dissidents in Iran, China, and elsewhere.

Mandating universal identity and attribution is the wrong goal. Accept that there will always be anonymous speech on the Internet. Accept that you’ll never truly know where a packet came from. Work on the problems you can solve: software that’s secure in the face of whatever packet it receives, identification systems that are secure enough in the face of the risks. We can do far better at these things than we’re doing, and they’ll do more to improve security than trying to fix insoluble problems.

The whole attribution problem is very similar to the copy-protection/digital-rights-management problem. Just as it’s impossible to make specific bits not copyable, it’s impossible to know where specific bits came from. Bits are bits. They don’t naturally come with restrictions on their use attached to them, and they don’t naturally come with author information attached to them. Any attempts to circumvent this limitation will fail, and will increasingly need to be backed up by the sort of real-world police-state measures that the entertainment industry is demanding in order to make copy-protection work. That’s how China does it: police, informants, and fear.

Just as the music industry needs to learn that the world of bits requires a different business model, law enforcement and others need to understand that the old ideas of identification don’t work on the Internet. For good or for bad, whether you like it or not, there’s always going to be anonymity on the Internet.

Source Link: http://www.schneier.com/essay-308.html

If there’s a debate that sums up post-9/11 politics, it’s security versus privacy. Which is more important? How much privacy are you willing to give up for security? Can we even afford privacy in this age of insecurity? Security versus privacy: It’s the battle of the century, or at least its first decade.

In a Jan. 21 New Yorker article, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell discusses a proposed plan to monitor all — that’s right, all — internet communications for security purposes, an idea so extreme that the word “Orwellian” feels too mild.

The article (now online here) contains this passage:

In order for cyberspace to be policed, internet activity will have to be closely monitored. Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the authority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search. “Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation,” he said. Giorgio warned me, “We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'”

I’m sure they have that saying in their business. And it’s precisely why, when people in their business are in charge of government, it becomes a police state. If privacy and security really were a zero-sum game, we would have seen mass immigration into the former East Germany and modern-day China. While it’s true that police states like those have less street crime, no one argues that their citizens are fundamentally more secure.

We’ve been told we have to trade off security and privacy so often — in debates on security versus privacy, writing contests, polls, reasoned essays and political rhetoric — that most of us don’t even question the fundamental dichotomy.

But it’s a false one.

Security and privacy are not opposite ends of a seesaw; you don’t have to accept less of one to get more of the other. Think of a door lock, a burglar alarm and a tall fence. Think of guns, anti-counterfeiting measures on currency and that dumb liquid ban at airports. Security affects privacy only when it’s based on identity, and there are limitations to that sort of approach.

Since 9/11, approximately three things have potentially improved airline security: reinforcing the cockpit doors, passengers realizing they have to fight back and — possibly — sky marshals. Everything else — all the security measures that affect privacy — is just security theater and a waste of effort.

By the same token, many of the anti-privacy “security” measures we’re seeing — national ID cards, warrantless eavesdropping, massive data mining and so on — do little to improve, and in some cases harm, security. And government claims of their success are either wrong, or against fake threats.

The debate isn’t security versus privacy. It’s liberty versus control.

You can see it in comments by government officials: “Privacy no longer can mean anonymity,” says Donald Kerr, principal deputy director of national intelligence. “Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people’s private communications and financial information.” Did you catch that? You’re expected to give up control of your privacy to others, who — presumably — get to decide how much of it you deserve. That’s what loss of liberty looks like.

It should be no surprise that people choose security over privacy: 51 to 29 percent in a recent poll. Even if you don’t subscribe to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s obvious that security is more important. Security is vital to survival, not just of people but of every living thing. Privacy is unique to humans, but it’s a social need. It’s vital to personal dignity, to family life, to society — to what makes us uniquely human — but not to survival.

If you set up the false dichotomy, of course people will choose security over privacy — especially if you scare them first. But it’s still a false dichotomy. There is no security without privacy. And liberty requires both security and privacy. The famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin reads: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” It’s also true that those who would give up privacy for security are likely to end up with neither.

Source Link: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/01/security_vs_pri.html

Last week, revelation of yet another NSA surveillance effort against the American people has rekindled the privacy debate. Those in favor of these programs have trotted out the same rhetorical question we hear every time privacy advocates oppose ID checks, video cameras, massive databases, data mining, and other wholesale surveillance measures: “If you aren’t doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?”

Some clever answers: “If I’m not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me.” “Because the government gets to define what’s wrong, and they keep changing the definition.” “Because you might do something wrong with my information.” My problem with quips like these — as right as they are — is that they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It’s not. Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect.

Two proverbs say it best: Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? (“Who watches the watchers?”) and “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.” Watch someone long enough, and you’ll find something to arrest — or just blackmail — with. Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies — whoever they happen to be at the time.

Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we’re doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.

We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need.

A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own home. It’s intrinsic to the concept of liberty.

For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.

How many of us have paused during conversation in the past four-and-a-half years, suddenly aware that we might be eavesdropped on? Probably it was a phone conversation, although maybe it was an e-mail or instant-message exchange or a conversation in a public place. Maybe the topic was terrorism, or politics, or Islam. We stop suddenly, momentarily afraid that our words might be taken out of context, then we laugh at our paranoia and go on. But our demeanor has changed, and our words are subtly altered.

This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. And it’s our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our personal, private lives.

Too many wrongly characterize the debate as “security versus privacy.” The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that’s why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.

Source Link: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/05/the_value_of_pr.html

“Many of us know that governments can threaten the human rights of software users through censorship and surveillance of the Internet. Many do not realize that the software they run on their home or work computers can be an even worse threat. Thinking of software as ‘just a tool’, they suppose that it obeys them, when in fact it often obeys others instead.

The software running in most computers is non-free, proprietary software: controlled by software companies, not by its users. Users can’t check what these programs do, nor prevent them from doing what they don’t want. Most people accept this because they have seen no other way, but it is simply wrong to give developers power over the users’ computer.

This unjust power, as usual, tempts its wielders to further misdeeds. If a computer talks to a network, and you don’t control the software in it, it can easily spy on you. Microsoft Windows spies on users; for instance, it reports what words a user searches for in her own files, and what other programs are installed. RealPlayer spies too; it reports what the user plays. Cell phones are full of non-free software, which spies. Cell phones send out localizing signals even when ‘off’, many can send out your precise GPS location whether you wish or not, and some models can be switched on remotely as listening devices. Users can’t fix these malicious features because they don’t have control.

Some proprietary software is designed to restrict and attack its users. Windows Vista is a big advance in this field; the reason it requires replacement of old hardware is that the new models are designed to support unbreakable restrictions. Microsoft thus requires users to pay for shiny new shackles. It is also designed to permit forced updating by corporate authority. Hence the BadVista.org campaign, which urges Windows users not to ‘upgrade’ to Vista. Mac OS also contains features designed to restrict its users.

Microsoft has installed back doors for the US government’s use in the past (reported on heise.de). We cannot check whether they have successors today. Other proprietary programs may or may not have back doors, but since we cannot check them, we cannot trust them.

The only way to assure that your software is working for you is to insist on Free/Libre software. This means users get the source code, are free to study and change it, and are free to redistribute it with or without changes. The GNU/Linux system, developed specifically for users’ freedom, includes office applications, multimedia, games, and everything you really need to run a computer. See gNewSense.org for a totally Free/Libre version of GNU/Linux.

A special problem occurs when activists for social change use proprietary software, because its developers, who control it, may be companies they wish to protest—or that work hand in glove with the states whose policies they oppose. Control of our software by a proprietary software company, whether it be Microsoft, Apple, Adobe or Skype, means control of what we can say, and to whom. This threatens our freedom in all areas of life.

There is also danger in using a company’s server to do your word processing or email—and not just if you are in China, as US lawyer Michael Springmann discovered. In 2003, AOL not only handed over to the police his confidential discussions with clients, it also made his email and his address list disappear, and didn’t admit this was intentional until one of its staff made a slip. Springmann gave up on getting his data back.

The US is not the only state that doesn’t respect human rights, so keep your data on your own computer, and your backups under your own custody—and run your computer with Free/Libre software.”

The Free Software Foundation is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Operating System. Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer software, and to defend the rights of Free Software users.

Support GNU and the FSF by buying manuals and gear, joining the FSF as an associate member or by making a donation.

Please send FSF & GNU inquiries to <gnu@gnu.org>. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.
Please send broken links and other corrections or suggestions to <webmasters@gnu.org>.

Please see the Translations README for information on coordinating and submitting translations of this article.

Copyright © 2007 Richard Stallman

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.

Updated: $Date: 2009/06/29 19:06:45 $

Source Link: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/your-freedom-needs-free-software.html

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