May 2020

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The links below are organised by the month in which they are published



The third eye: Canada’s development of autonomous signals intelligence to contribute to Five Eyes intelligence sharing - Maria A. Robson


Maria A. Robson (2020) The third eye: Canada’s development of autonomous signals intelligence to contribute to Five Eyes intelligence sharing, Intelligence and National Security, DOI: 10.1080/02684527.2020.1768477


Canada established independent signals intelligence in 1946, after years of British and American guidance. The dominant driver was inclusion in postwar intelligence sharing. Wartime intelligence negotiations depict Canadians framing themselves relative to their allies, seeking to shake off a ‘younger brother’ mindset and to migrate from British-led models towards autonomous intelligence sharing with the Americans. This paper traces the origins of autonomous Canadian signals intelligence in the context of postwar intelligence sharing with the United States and United Kingdom, demonstrating Canada’s prioritization of capabilities that would ensure inclusion in the intelligence-sharing partnership known today as Five Eyes.

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Improving ‘Five Eyes’ Health Security Intelligence capabilities: leadership and governance challenges - Patrick F. Walsh

Pages 586-602 | Published online: 22 Apr 2020

This article explores common organizational pressure points for ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence communities in their ability to understand, prevent and disrupt potential emerging bio-threats and risks. The acceleration in the development of synthetic biology and biotechnology for legitimate markets (e.g. pharmaceuticals, food production and energy) is moving faster than current intelligence communities’ ability to identify and understand potential bio-threats and risks.

The article surveys several political leadership and intelligence governance challenges responsible for the current sub-optimal development of health security intelligence capabilities and identifies possible policy suggestions to ameliorate challenges.


Patrick F. Walsh (2020) Improving ‘Five Eyes’ Health Security Intelligence capabilities: leadership and governance challenges, Intelligence and National Security, 35:4, 586-602, DOI: 10.1080/02684527.2020.1750156

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Multiple Reality and the Future of Command and Control

Intelligence staff could partner with multiple or mixed reality (MR) technologies to help maintain the level of cohesion needed to plan and supervise complex operations.

With ever-expanding human networks, the proliferation of cyberattacks, and the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), world instability is increasing, and it is often caused by population growth and migration.

In this world, the Department of Defense will need a more robust and flexible command and control platform that can facilitate effective and collaborative communications, while providing a high degree of survivability through redundancy and dispersion. Maintaining fidelity and continuity across a disbursed staff, however, can be extremely challenging. 

Multiple Reality (MR) may provide staffs the flexibility in command and control and survivability needed in the future, allowing them to be widely disbursed while operating as highly cohesive entities.

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Is COVID-19 a Black Swan Event?

If there was ever a black swan event, it would be the COVID-19 pandemic. Taleb (2007) has described how an unexpected event can wipe out all our plans and preparations.

As we are all painfully aware, prior to the pandemic, everything was proceeding smoothly in November 2019, and December, and into February. The U.S. economy continued its upward swing. The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 recorded all-time highs on February 12, 2020.

Then it hit. Starting on February 24, the stock market went into free fall. Not only do we have a collapsed U.S. and global economy, but we are also locked down, fearful of venturing from our homes, wondering what has happened to us and how long it will take to return to normal—wondering what normal means anymore.

► Read morePsychology Today


Strategic Security Analysis: Strengthening Prevention With Better Anticipation: Covid-19 And Beyond

Prevention strategies warrant more attention and can be a framework to apply to situations with different levels of urgency. The cases of the Arctic, the Sahel and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate the value of prevention strategies in diverse ways.

Anticipation is closely linked to prevention, and we should do more to understand how the future may unfold, and then act on the findings to help us to prevent crises and conflict.

The interaction of issues often lies at the centre of the policy challenges we face today. It is necessary to unpack these interactions in order to strengthen our responses.

► Read more @ here


The friendly Mr Wu 

The weakest link in America’s national security may not be foreign technology but its own people. Mara Hvistendahl traces the story of the single mother who sold out to China. 

► Read more @ 1843 Magazine


Ending Iran’s regional ransom 

Tehran may further strike back over Soleimani, but it has freely carried out attacks across the region for a long time. Criticism of Donald Trump’s brazen assassination of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassim Soleimani has rightly focussed on the unprecedented nature of the killing and the escalation in the conflict between the two countries it presents. 

► Read more @ The Interpreter Weekly


India-Australia strategic convergence … with difference

Both countries need to psychologically prepare for a “new” world of rising powers and those in relative decline. Recent years have witnessed a dramatic transformation of the Indian-Australian strategic relationship. While Australia worried about India’s naval expansion in the late 1980s, and recalled its high commissioner from New Delhi after India’s 1998 nuclear tests, India and Australia are fostering a close strategic partnership today. 

► Read more @ The Interpreter Weekly


Intel shared among US allies indicates virus outbreak more likely came from market, not a Chinese lab

Intelligence shared among Five Eyes nations indicates it is "highly unlikely" that the coronavirus outbreak was spread as a result of an accident in a laboratory but rather originated in a Chinese market, according to two Western officials who cited an intelligence assessment that appears to contradict claims by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

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Policing Vietnam: How Australia could help 

Men comprise 90% of the country’s police, and a common complaint is male officers pay scant attention to women’s issues. Women’s employment in Vietnam’s security sector is limited and affects the state’s ability to respond to women’s security needs. 

► Read more @ The Interpreter Weekly


Encrypted messaging apps are the future of propaganda

In recent years, propaganda campaigns utilizing disinformation and spread on encrypted messaging applications (EMAs) have contributed to rising levels of offline violence in a variety of countries worldwide: Brazil, India, Mexico, Myanmar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United States, and Venezuela. EMAs are quickly becoming the preferred medium for complex and covert propaganda campaigns in many countries around the world. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, EMAs have become a key distribution channel for medical misinformation, hoaxes, and scams. 

► Read more @ Tech Stream


Foreign Shell Companies Trying to Infiltrate US Defense Industry, Top Weapons Buyer Says

Without naming China, the Pentagon's acquisitions chief warned of foreign adversaries using shell companies to buy into struggling small defense firms during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Foreign ShHuman Intelligence: The Missing Piece to Comprehensive Maritime Domain Awareness

To effectively govern the maritime space, states need an accurate picture of what is happening and where in order to establish normal “patterns of life” at sea. With this picture, states can identify suspicious activity and task assets to respond. This ability to collect, analyze, share, and respond to information in the maritime realm is often called maritime domain awareness (MDA). 

► Read more @ CIMSEC



The Hidden & Visible Elements of OSINT: Part 2

Understand how to use OSINT across different mediums of communication from public conversations.

People use the Internet to communicate everything, even beyond the boundaries of what is often acceptable in regular society. Online you can be anyone and anything. This is where the investigator can get busy. There is a lot to dig through, and some will have many conversations on multiple sites if they are very active. OSINT investigators will want to capture all conversations and interactions surrounding an event for a threat actor they are investigating. 

► Read More @ Media Sonar


OSINT Best Practices: Legal & Ethical Considerations

The collection & utilization of OSINT data as a function of security is now becoming a critical component of overall threat intelligence.

Our team has put together a report to help Law Enforcement and Corporate Security teams:

- Understand the legal and ethical best practices for gathering open source intelligence (OSINT).

- Distinguish between the laws and warrants that apply to Law Enforcement and Corporate Security teams gathering OSINT.

- Learn how to eliminate personal bias and keep ethics and civil liberties at the top of mind to maximize the effectiveness of your investigations.

 Read moreMedia Sonar


OSINT Success: Efficacy While Remaining Legal & Ethical

What was once the domain of highly specialized teams even half a decade ago, the collection and utilization of OSINT data as a function of security is now becoming a critical component of overall threat intelligence for both corporate and cybersecurity teams. With this rise in priority has come the expansion of teams and an influx of new OSINT practitioners. 

► Read more @ Media Sonar


Ins & Outs of Due Diligence using OSINT

It’s hard to predict the future but as humans, we like to think we can get pretty close. Much of business involves divining future success based on decisions made at the moment. For example, before inviting new partners and people into inner circles or connecting to third-party systems, organizations use past behavior to foreshadow future business outcomes. People who do this type of investigation, known as due diligence, walk a narrow line between multiple conflicting outcomes and principles. 

► Read more @ Media Sonar


How Intelligence Analysts See the Corona Pandemic

SPY Historian Vince Houghton sat down with former intelligence analysts Mark Stout and Cindy Storer to discuss how intel analysts in the US and around the world are viewing the coronavirus situation.

► View moreSpy Museum


How to Think Like an Intelligence Analyst

What attributes make a good analyst. According to Zachery Tyson, there is no single 'right' way to be an intelligence analyst, despite what some seminars, online courses, or even agency training centers might tell you. No one has a lock on thinking, and good ideas can come from almost anywhere or anyone. There are myriad sub-disciplines of analysis, from cyber and social media to weapons and technical intelligence, but the five aspects he has listed are those Tyson believes to be general skills applicable to analysis across the board.

► Read the LinkedIn Article here



How Intelligence Analysts Can Improve Critical Thinking and Writing Skills

Intelligence analysts must be critical thinkers. They need to be able to synthesize disparate information received from multiple sources, and use that information to anticipate and prevent illicit activities including terrorism, human trafficking, and organized criminal elements.

Analysts must also be strong writers, able to share information both clearly and concisely. Ultimately, intelligence analysts are responsible for preparing comprehensive written reports, presentations, maps, or charts based on their research, collection, and analysis of intelligence data.

I learned a lot and greatly improved my critical thinking and writing skills. How was this accomplished? By proactively reading more, writing more and thinking more.

► Learn how at In Public Safety



Artificial Intelligence and UK National Security Policy Considerations

Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) was commissioned by GCHQ to conduct an independent research study into the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for national security purposes. 

The research has found that AI offers numerous opportunities for the UK national security community to improve efficiency and effectiveness of existing processes. AI methods can rapidly derive insights from large, disparate datasets and identify connections that would otherwise go unnoticed by human operators. However, in the context of national security and the powers given to UK intelligence agencies, use of AI could give rise to additional privacy and human rights considerations which would need to be assessed within the existing legal and regulatory framework. For this reason, enhanced policy and guidance is needed to ensure the privacy and human rights implications of national security uses of AI are reviewed on an ongoing basis as new analysis methods are applied to data.

► Read the report @ AIPIO Resource Page


SANS Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Survey

Year after year, the response pool for the SANS Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Survey continues to grow in the number of respondents representing a wide-ranging group of security professionals from various verticals. This year SANS reached a record number of responses (1006) and showed that the growth trajectory of CTI programs is far from slowing down. 

A robust CTI program relies upon a combination of people, processes, and tools to produce, consume and act on both internal and external threat intelligence data collected. One cannot be successful without the other. The survey shows that there are improvements in these areas, but also demonstrates where organizations would benefit from continued efforts. 

► Read the SANS 2020 Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Survey results to find out how you can keep your CTI program moving forward.

The subjects, thoughts, opinions, and information made available in AIPIO Acumen reflect the author’s views, not those of the AIPIO.

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