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Draft Chapter for Strategic Intelligence

1.  Digitization.  It is a mistake to believe that all relevant information is being digitized today.  Tribal histories (e.g. those from Iraq) and vast quantities of important information are still being produced in Industrial Era mediums, and Friday sermons by Islamic imams as well as the sermons by all the other faiths, are not part of the digital revolution.  In strategic terms, however, digitization is extremely important for three reasons:

Most current information from mainstream and niche media as well as individual publishers and bloggers, in all languages, is now available digitally.

Historical information, including policy and financial statements of great importance to specific nations, industries, organizations, and tribes, can now be affordably and effectively digitized.  

Hand-held devices are rapidly becoming a primary means of collecting and sharing information, with imminent prospects of being able to harness, selectively, all that any group of individuals can see and hear and think, and is willing to upload as needed.

2.

Visualization.  Digital information, including historical information, can now be visualized, not only in relation to content analysis and links between paragraphs and among individuals, but in relation to a geospatial foundation such as Google Earth provides in rudimentary but quite compelling terms.  This is moving OSINT well beyond secret sources and methods because it can draw on a much greater body of information and expertise in real time, and apply all modern machine analytic tools with fewer security, legal, and policy constraints.  The centralized unilateral secret bureaucracies are losing ground—rapidly—to

Version 2.4 dated 7 April 2006

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