Published on February 13th, 2013 | by admin

Again: How agencies can get access to social media intelligence

The topic of OSINT (open source intelligence), and specifically social media intelligence, found its way into the defense and military conversation quite frequently at last month’s AFCEA TechNet Europe event. While law enforcement is seeing a great deal of success with this form of intelligence, defense and military applications exist in this context as well.

From a vendor, social media intelligence can be provided to intelligence analysts in two ways:

  1. Local delivery and retention of all information – The government uses a “self-serve” model to support their intelligence efforts.
  2. Social media intelligence as a service – The contracted vendor or third party pulls and houses the data on behalf of their government customers.

The benefit of option one is that only designated agency officers’ conduct queries directly on the data and such queries are not visible to the provider.  The government agency retains full control of their data and thus the visibility of the search metrics used against the data.

In option two, the third party is pulling data for more than a single client and use. Government customers then only query the data when and as needed for their particular subjects and topics of interest. They also defer the potentially costly storage requirements to the vendor.

The government could also benefit from the vendors’ expertise to help them refine their queries, seek better sources and otherwise customize the service. In this way, not only do they simply supply content – they become a ‘trusted advisor’ as well. In such cases, the costs of social media as a service can be spread across multiple customers based on a shared infrastructure.

For those evaluating communications intelligence from multiple sources, social media should certainly be one of them. Check back soon for more information about how Intellego can help you make the most of this source.

Pamela Warren
Director, Intelligence Solutions, SS8

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