New York Times Magazine – How the downfall of one intelligence agent revealed the astonishing depth of Chinese industrial espionage.
Category Archives: Intelligence
Flattops from space: the once (and future?) meme of photographing aircraft carriers from orbit
The Space Review – In 1984, Samuel Loring Morison, an analyst at the Naval Intelligence Support Center outside of Washington, DC, picked three photos off the desk of a colleague. He clipped the security classification stamps off the sides of the photos and provided them to Jane’s Defence Weekly, which had only recently begun publishing. The photos were taken by a satellite of a Soviet Union military shipyard. Knowing that they had a real scoop, the editors at Jane’s put one of the photos on the cover of the magazine and featured the other two in a short article about the latest Soviet naval developments…
Winning the AI-Enabled War-At-Sea
CIMSEC – The AI-enabled battlespace creates a different war-at-sea.
Old Books New Ideas Realigning Naval Intelligence For Great Power Competition
CIMSEC – Naval Intelligence is the decision advantage for GPC, using “old school” tools, honed through combat, the Cold War, and combat again, supplemented by “new school” techniques. All of these tools will be that decisive advantage just in case “competition” becomes “combat.”
Trustable AI: A Critical Challenge For Naval Intelligence
CIMSEC – Even the best performing AI/ML technologies are moot if the analyst or downstream decision maker cannot trust the outputs.
The Unique Intelligence Challenges of Countering Naval Asymmetric Warfare
CIMSEC – Naval intelligence organizations seeking to understand asymmetrical naval forces must promote a culture of creativity, daring, pluralism, and deep cultural knowledge in order to best understand how the asymmetric adversary behaves and operates.
Hidden Threat To Navies: How Freely Available Satellite Imagery Can Track Radars
Naval News – Open source intelligence can pose a threat to naval operations of any nation. It is free available and, largely, easily analyzed. Anyone with an internet connection can potentially locate warships in operational settings. Radar satellite data is not the most intuitive, but it provides OSINT watchers with yet another tool to track navies. And no navy is immune from OSINT.
Unseenlabs Ready To Launch Satellites Constellation Dedicated To Ship Geolocation
Naval News – Unseenlabs announces the imminent launch of nano-satellites BRO-2 and BRO-3 and the deployment of the constellation dedicated to the geolocation of ships at sea.
Naval Intelligence, the CIA, and the Soviet-Russian Threat: The Cold War and Beyond
– USNI Blog – As the United States and its Navy orient to the current Russian threat, there are lessons to be learned from Cold War history. The original Cold Warriors succeeded in avoiding a direct, large-scale military clash between the United States and Soviet Union. In such a “cold” conflict, intelligence counts as much as firepower. With a growing body of previously classified material now available, researchers and intelligence professionals have increased insight into what worked well—and what did not—in the U.S. intelligence community’s efforts to understand the Soviet Navy. These lessons remain relevant.
Into the Unknown: A Reading List for the Knowledge Warrior
– CIMSEC – A recommended reading list intended for the newly minted and the more experienced naval intelligence professional.
Tracking sanctions-busting ‘ghost ships’ on the high seas
– BBC – For a long time, being out at sea meant being out of sight and out of reach…
Persistent Eye in the Sky: How Commercial Satellites Can Help the Navy Achieve Superior Maritime Awareness
– War on the Rocks – The revolution in small commercial satellites, combined with the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, turns satellite imagery from mere information into intelligence. The commercialization of these capabilities gives other nations — both small and peer competitors — the ability to compete with the United States for a space-based ISR advantage. The U.S. Navy should take advantage of and integrate advances in commercial ISR technology to enhance its strike capabilities and ensure that it continues to control the seas.
A Spymaster Steps Out of the Shadows
– New York Times Magazine – John Brennan quietly ruled the national-security state under President Obama. Now he’s coming forward to rail against Trump — and to defend his own legacy.
How to Spot the Secretive Activities of Rogue Fishing Boats
– BBC – For years it’s been impossible to see illegal acts happening at sea, from overfishing to human rights abuses. Now that’s changing.
Seeing the Forest Through the Trees: The Value of OSINT for the US Navy
– CIMSEC – With the advent of the Information Age, a rapid evolution of technological innovations democratized and decentralized information, creating a digital universe and a surfeit of open source intelligence, or OSINT. In the past decade alone, the world produced more information than it had in the rest of human history. This diffusion of information holds significant promise for the Naval Intelligence community, whose own rich history is replete with examples of OSINT being an integral part of the analytic picture.
Loitering With Intent
– Harper’s – William Arkin writes: “When I look at the digital legions splayed out on a battlefield that is truly global, I see drones and the Data Machine they serve as the greatest threats to our national security, our safety, and our very way of life. If drones instantly ceased to exist, the black boxes at the heart of the Data Machine would still direct manned aircraft and satellites. And yet drones are the proper place to start thinking about our deluded pursuit of perfect war, which is produced by our hubristic endeavor to root out evil everywhere and our increased unwillingness to suffer human sacrifice in the course of making war.”
Intelligence – The world is one big dataset. Now, how to photograph it …
– TED – A fascinating TED talk that suggests a new way forward for open-source intelligence.
Intelligence – Navy dismisses Google's alarm over ship-tracking
– Virginian Pilot – When a top Google official came to Virginia Beach last week to speak at a respected defense conference, he delivered a stunning and convincing message: The company is on the verge of unveiling a project that could reveal to the public the precise locations of many ships at sea, including U.S. Navy ships.
Intelligence – US Naval War College's Strategic Research Department Weekly Maritime News Survey
– US Naval War College’s Strategic Research Department Weekly Maritime News Survey – This is a great naval news source I just learned of, which is updated each Monday.
Thanks to Jim for the link!
Intelligence – Google Can Track Ships At Sea — Including US Navy; Detailed Maps Planned of Sea Bottom
– AOL Defense – Google will soon make public information about virtually every ship at sea, giving the current location and identity even of American warships. Meanwhile, the company is consulting with the Navy and others about security issues.
Intelligence – China’s Accidental Spies
– Pacific Standard – Is an unassuming group of Chinese bloggers who are obsessed with military hardware doing the Pentagon’s work? Or Beijing’s?
Intelligence – The Secret Sharer
– New Yorker – An inside look at the workings of the NSA. Is Thomas Drake an enemy of the state? Drake, a former senior executive at the National Security Agency, faces some of the gravest charges that can be brought against an American citizen.
Intelligence – Top Secret America
An interesting series of articles on America’s growing intelligence-industrial complex.
Washington Post – A hidden world, growing beyond control
Washington Post – National Security Inc.
Washington Post – The secrets next door
…and the home page of the series with many other references – Washington Post – Top Secret America
Intelligence – Pandora's Briefcase
New Yorker – Pandora’s Briefcase
Malcolm Gladwell writes that in the months before the invasion of Sicily, British spies fooled German spies with a caper inspired by a detective novel. It was a dazzling feat of wartime espionage. But does it argue for or against spying?
Intelligence – Off course
Armed Forces Journal – Off course
The dark side of tracking all shipping: Pirates can do it too.
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