Opening comments by Ms. Sabra Horne, DNI

Posted September 11, 2008 by duckncover
Categories: Uncategorized

The opening speaker talked about the needs to “transcend” the boundaries of the Intelligence community.  I’m staggered by the diversity of the conference attendees: 1,800 people were selected from 3,500 applicants.  These individuals represent 80 colleges and university, 47 think tanks, 56 NGO’s, State, tribal, local officials, 38 states, 370 private firms, 60 media outlets, 38 countries around the world, and of course representatives from around the Intel Community.   

My thoughts: This to me represents a fundamental change in mindset; we’re all on the same team. We’re all concerned about terrorism and security. Think about how radical this conference is (in only its second year). Sharing this information would once have been an “Operational Security” concern (don’t share or the enemy could pick up on what the intel folks are collecting on).  To paraphrase someone I met recently, “Secrecy is one way to gain an intelligence advantage. Speed and collaboration are others.”


Waiting to start…

Posted September 11, 2008 by duckncover
Categories: Uncategorized

While I’m waiting for the first presentation they have a slideshow going with video quotes from various high ranking officials in the Intelligence Community talking about how crucially important Open Source intelligence is. I think this is further highlighted by the first class venue where this is taking place. Mainstream media coverage, beautiful convention center, and first rate speakers. I’m really looking forward to this conference.

My personal perspective is that the Intelligence Community is going through a major transition right now. They’re trying to get out of a Cold War mentality which focuses on secrecy to a new mentality (and process) that focuses on speed, collaboration, sharing, and exploiting open sources.

For the remainder of my posts I’ll try to distinguish my thoughts from the speaker’s thoughts by using italics.

2008 DNI Conference begins

Posted September 11, 2008 by kirbstr
Categories: Uncategorized

Listening to the opening speakers of the 2008 DNI Open Source Conference. Sabra Horne says 1800 attendees from universities, state, local and tribal entities, 38 countries, and of course the DC Intelligence Community.

Notes that today is Patriot Day and that the events seven years ago spurred the changes that made this conference possible. There will be a moment of silence.

Dan Butler is up next, Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Source. Talks about outreach and partnerships with public and foreign partners. Praises the DNI Open Source Center and talks about the Open Source Vision for the community.

Quotes wikipedia on the definition of humility and adds that the Intelligence Community should have some humility and recognize that the IC does not have all the experts or all the answers. Introduces the vision for 2015. DNI Vision 2015:

  • no typical customer
  • mission integration – networked and powersharing
  • open source collection holds most promise

Introduces concept of DNI Open Source Challenge that will be further discussed this morning.

Introduces next speaker, Glenn Gaffney. Calls himself “Congressional Cat Toy” – was asked, “What is the future of Collection?” His answer, “Integrated performance. It’s that simple and that complex.”

Discusses role of open source amongst other collection methods. Now there is an “information universe” and look at it differently that in the past. Other levels are represented by foreign partners and academia.

Talks about the IC youth bulge (45 to 50% of the workforce), the gap of GenX and the bulge of the more seasoned analysts. Calls youth bulge the “mashup generation”. He has a hopeful outlook on the youth bulge but declares that we owe it to enable and build infrastructure to allow the next generations to show us things that we don’t know are possible.

Moment of silence.

This is about discovering/discerning the truth and using that truth for the benefit or safeguarding of our citizens.

DNI Open Source Conference 2008

Posted July 21, 2008 by mcpaige
Categories: Uncategorized

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is pleased to announce the “DNI Open Source Conference 2008” to be held on Thursday, 11 September and Friday, 12 September, 2008 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington DC.


National Intelligence Estimate

Posted July 17, 2007 by mcpaige
Categories: Uncategorized

With the NIE that came out today, the media followed McConnell over the DNI Open Source Conference 2007. There was definitely a larger presences. Here are some of the related stories I found.

Mrs. Mary Margaret Graham, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Collection

Posted July 17, 2007 by Kirby
Categories: Uncategorized

Mrs. Graham is introduced by Mr. Jardines.

Mrs. Graham states that everyone, all of the players (media, analysts,academics, etc) have a role in Open Source. She wants to know about the capabilities of Open Sources that may not have previously identified.

Open Source gives a viewpoint that is not secret. If we can do Open Source right, we will have a much better understanding of where to spend our classified resources. If we can get the answer from the data that is out there, why would we spend money on our classified resources? We don’t have that confidence as yet. How many requirements can we answer by open source? It is her gut feeling that we will be able to answer some of the questions using purely open sources.

She says in a perfect world the analyst will be able to log in to one network and look at open sources and classified intelligence at the same time.

She mentions that a large dollar amount has been spent on classified resources and that the funds will be lower in the future and this is why Open Source Intelligence will be so important. We will need to reserve the classified resources for things that can only be collected via secret means.

She tells an anecdote about WWII, where open sources were able to measure a shift in thinking by identifying language used in describing the death of soldiers in Germany. In 1941 the soldiers where described as having died for the Fuhrer, the people and the homeland, and in 1945 the obituaries described the soldiers as having died only for the homeland. What does this mean? That understanding is what Open Source Intelligence is about.

Press Coverage

Posted July 17, 2007 by Kirby
Categories: Uncategorized

The following media outlets (among others) have covered portions or all of the conference and more information can be found on their websites, publications and newscasts:

  • The New York Times
  • FOX News
  • CNN
  • ABC News
  • The New Yorker
  • The Washington Post
  • US News and World Report
  • NBC