THis seems like an interesting idea:
People in black trench coats might soon be chasing blogs.
Blogs, short for Web logs, are personal online journals. Individuals post them on Web sites to report or comment on news especially, but also on their personal lives or most any subject.
Some blogs are whimsical and deal with “soft” subjects. Others, though, are cutting edge in delivering information and opinion.
As a result, some analysts say U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials might be starting to track blogs for important bits of information. This interest is a sign of how far Web media such as blogs have come in reshaping the data-collection habits of intelligence professionals and others, even with the knowledge that the accuracy of what’s reported in some blogs is questionable.
Still, a panel of folks who work in the U.S. intelligence field – some of them spies or former spies – discussed this month at a conference in Washington the idea of tracking blogs.
“News and intelligence is about listening with a critical ear, and blogs are just another conversation to listen to and evaluate. They also are closer to (some situations) and may serve as early alerts,” said Jock Gill, a former adviser on Internet media to President Clinton, in a later phone interview, after he spoke on the panel.
I am sure some people might worry about infringements to civil liberties, but I don’t immediately see how. As a blogger, I am putting things into the public domain freely. This sounds to me to be along the same lines as the Terrorism Futures Market, which was and still is a great idea, despite what the loudmouth know-nothings have to say.
This seems to be another attempt to gather synthesized and in many cases, raw data. Why not?
In other blogging news, Oliver saw this line on Law and ORder: SVU (I, like most rational human beings, was watching the Chapelle Show):
“Gentlemen, your so-called victim has been doing a little ‘blogging.'”
I think this may be the first time I’ve disagreed with John. I like Law & Order.
I like the regular Law and ORder- but I just don’t care that much for the spinoffs. I do like Belzer’s character, though.
I don’t care for Law & Order: CI. Vincent D’Onofrio’s character is SO annoying! The guy’s a damn expert in every esoteric subject under the sun. Plus he completely badgers the suspects, right in front their lawyers mind you, until they up and confess, and the lawyers do nothing! It’s totally unrealistic.
If they were serious about such things, a group should promulgate a set of tags to mark out such posts that the blogger thinks might be of intelligence interests. Normal browsers wouldn’t do anything with the tags but they would flag out the original and/or useful information from the author’s perspective.
TM, I don’t think a weblogger-defined tag is useful. Imagine terrorist-sympathizing webloggers tossing chunks of worthless data at the intelligence agencies to throw them off.