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Open Source Spying: 2010

Clive Thompson (New York Times Magazine), Chris Rasmussen (U.S. Intelligence Community), Lewis Shepherd (Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments), Matthew Burton (The Open Source ACH Project, competinghypotheses.org)
Agile Government
Location: Room 202 A
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

In 2006, Clive Thompson wrote in a watershed New York Times Magazine article “Billions of dollars’ worth of ultrasecret data networks couldn’t help spies piece together the clues to the worst terrorist plot ever. So perhaps, they argue, it’s time to try something radically different. Could blogs and wikis prevent the next 9/11?” (Open-Source Spying) At the Gov 2.0 Expo, Clive Thompson will discuss the progress made in the Intelligence Community since that 2006 with Matthew Burton, Chris Rasmussen, and Lewis Shepherd.

Clive Thompson

New York Times Magazine

Clive Thompson is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.

Photo of Chris Rasmussen

Chris Rasmussen

U.S. Intelligence Community

The United States Intelligence Community (IC) has made tremendous strides over the last several years with the introduction of a wide range of social software tools such as wikis, blogs, user tagging services, and social networking services for knowledge management and information sharing. Mr. Rasmussen was instrumental in pioneering this initial push, but now believes it’s time to take it to the next level.

Social software-based knowledge creation is still often viewed as “good for collaboration but not the product.” Intelligence agencies still primarily vet and disseminate “their” snapshot products—often with overlap. Mr. Rasmussen evangelizes for a move toward a “living intelligence” model where a range of information is mixed together in a transparent common space and the intelligence topic is constantly updated. Living intelligence, sometimes also referred to as purple intelligence, can help reduce duplication by moving the review process into the same space where the collaboration takes place.

Mr. Rasmussen’s classified blog “Need-to-Share not Need-to-Know Guy” is one of the most read and commented upon blogs in the Intelligence Community.

Mr. Rasmussen has received several prestigious awards for innovation and leadership such as the Director of National Intelligence “Exceptional Pioneer Award” in 2007 for helping pioneer the Intellipedia movement. He was selected as one of the “Federal 100” by Federal Computer Week in 2008. This award is giving to top executives from government, industry and academia that had the greatest impact on the government information systems community.

Mr. Rasmussen holds a BA in History and Masters in National Security Studies.

Photo of Lewis Shepherd

Lewis Shepherd

Microsoft Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments

Lewis Shepherd is the Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft’s Institute for Advanced Technology in Governments, having joined Microsoft in 2007. He has degrees from Stanford University (where he was a Rockefeller Graduate Fellow), the University of Virginia, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). He has also been a guest-lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for MBA courses on government/business relations. Lewis spent two decades working in and around Silicon Valley, but after the 9/11 attacks he focused on technologies to support the Intelligence Community and in 2003 accepted an offer to become Senior Technology Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he spent four years participating in a remarkable period of innovation and reform for the intelligence community. Some of his team’s work focused on secure information sharing, better analysis, and introducing Web 2.0 capabilities to secure networks. Lewis also writes the popular Shepherds Pi blog.

Photo of Matthew Burton

Matthew Burton

The Open Source ACH Project, competinghypotheses.org

Matthew Burton is a technology consultant to the U.S. Government. He writes frequently on technology’s impact on democracy and government, and authored the opening chapter of O’Reilly’s “Open Government.”

His newest project, launched this August, is competinghypotheses.org, an open source research and problem solving tool created originally for the intelligence community but with broad applications throughout all levels of government.

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