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The Associated Press reports on the CIA’s open-source intelligence operation, which monitors millions of tweets, Facebook posts, and local news reports for information relevant to U.S. foreign policy.Doug Naquin, the centre’s director told the AP that they “predicted that social media in places like Egypt could be a game-changer and a threat to the regime,” in Egypt and across the Middle East — they just didn’t know when the revolution would begin.
Twitter also allows the CIA to put a finger on the pulse of public opinion across the globe — monitoring the reaction to everything from the killing of Osama bin Laden to the President’s speech on the region after the raid.
The most successful analysts, Naquin said, are something like the heroine of the crime novel “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” a quirky, irreverent computer hacker who “knows how to find stuff other people don’t know exists.”
Those with a masters’ degree in library science and multiple languages, especially those who grew up speaking another language, “make a powerful open source officer,” Naquin said.
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