Time to dust off those old jokes about “military intelligence” being an oxymoron. Andres “Technollama” Guadamuz comments on a US intelligence briefing (PDF) on the use of Twitter and other social networks by terrorists.
The report provides a brief summary of how Twitter works, whose liberal use of capitalisations and quotation marks as linguistic tongs suggests a certain distaste for the phenomenon:
What makes Twitter unique is that the member can send Tweets (messages near realtime) to Twitter cell phone groups and to their online Twitter social networking page. They can also Mashup their Tweets with a variety of other tools including geo coordinates and Google Maps or other electronic files/artifacts. Members can direct and re-direct audience members to other websites and locations from “Tweets” and can engage in rapid-fire group social interaction.
What really astounded me, though, was the list of ne’er-do-wells and malcontents who are described as using Twitter for their sick and perverted ends:
Twitter has also become a social activism tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences.
That is a truly terrifying insight into the “military intelligence” worldview. Atheists, vegetarians and “religious communities” put alongside communists, anarchists and “human rights groups”. Wow. All it needed was “water fluoridation proponents” and we’d have the full set.