Intelligence: September 14, 2005


The U.S. Department of Defense is adopting more and more software and analysis techniques used in the financial markets, for use in collecting intelligence. Wall Street has, for decades, been developing more and more powerful software for sorting through vast amounts of data, in order to get a peek at the future. 

This military adoption of this technology is being done quietly, because many powerful special-interest groups are quick to jump on this sort of thing when its being done by intelligence agencies. As a result, much of the Wall Street grade analysis software is put to work without much, if any, fanfare. The Department of Defense and intelligence agency users understand that their work is likely to eventually get publicized, and they could get hung out to dry. But in the intel business, this is a pretty normal risk. For intel operatives, the paper bullets are more numerous, and more likely to connect, than the metal ones. Interestingly, for all the angst over the abuse of government intelligence operations, this abuse actually happens very rarely. But that fact is not the sort of thing that makes for exciting headlines, and never gets much exposure. 


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