Operational Twitter & Youtube

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by BarcelonaAnalPark, Jan 16, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. The fighting in Libya highlighted how much information is available in conflict areas with open source material being looked at by journalist and civvy alike.

    Now, theres some pretty good stuff coming out of Syria that is ending up on Youtube or being tweeted, not to mention small events being made visible to the WWW.

    What is the best way to capitalise on social media and who are the best people to follow if you only have limited time, in terms of position in society?
  2. As far as Twitter is concerned, I'd suggest firstly searching relevant hashtags, e.g. #Libya and #Syria.
  3. Searching on hashtags is useful and effective. However, it's easy to become reactive to information feeds on sites like Twitter. For example, if you look at feeds from @alArabia_Eng then you'll find really good information. However, the media is behind the curve (sorry for management speak) when it comes to useful information that can be exploited. Hashtags aren't much use if the person you should be following is using a non-Roman alphabet. What other methods can there be for finding people to 'follow'?
    [h=2]Also are there constraints within RIPA2000 for interacting with people over social media for professional purposes?[/h]
  4. You can also search Twitter using unicode for non-Roman alphabet tweets, e.g. https://twitter.com/#!/search/%D8%A3%D8%B3%D8%AF%E2%80%8E

    However, I've just re-read your original post and now realise I wasn't answering the actual question you asked. So I'll shut up now.
  5. I'm happy to 'spitball' and talk about the different aspects of social media.

    In fact, you raise a good point. If you are to follow an Arabic language 'feed' then you will need to have access to linguists, especially if you are watching videos from the target language.
  6. You're not the alter ego of the one on the Current Events thread are you?

    Firstly, RIPA would not apply unless "establishing or maintaing a covert relationship" for the purpose of enabling or retaining access to information. So "open source" doesn't meet the criteria. For the lawyers out there, you can discuss "status drift"; ie, when does open source become covert? When do you need relevant authority etc.

    Here's a free bunch of resources for you.

    Free Internet Search Tools and Research Resources | Toddington International Inc.
  7. Aye, I posted on a similar-ish thread in the current events folder.

    Thank you very much for that Toddington link. My online stalking, er, I mean research will be a lot better with some of those search engines.

    Interesting point about RIPA. However, if you are communicating in an open forum with an internet persona, are you not then establishing a covert relationship if you communicate in private, such as in a closed forum, via e-mail or private message?
  8. The (UK) line would, i suggest, be the "reasonable presumption of privacy". Anything put on twitter or other unprotected material (such as ARRSE) would be fair game. Hence the OPSEC hysteria now and again.

    If I have to create a legend to befriend you, and deceive you as to my purpose, then I suggest this has gone beyond open source intelligence. Then you would be into RIPA territory, assuming you are a public body and therefore bound by such rules of fair play.

    So I can joust with you on arrse till my heart is content, but then PM'ing you and developing a relationship strays past Open Source and past the topic of this chat.

    Otherwise, you can assume prospective employers will google you for your pissed up snaps you insist on putting on an unprotected Facebook page.

    If you wouldn't put it on a postcard, don't put it on the tinternet.
  9. This is my main effort at the moment. PM me if you are interested.
  10. I'd say that much of what you might be reading via Twatter, particularly in a conflict scenario, should be treated as F6/X4 as these are often the highky politicised views of single individuals. However, if they can be corroborated by other sources, that grading could be raised.

    Some NGOs, particularly Human Rights Watch, have good coverage of Libya's unsecured arms as well as the situation in Tunisia and Syria. As they are on the ground, that could be another OSINT source to consider. Skype could be used to communicate with agencies such as that in order to maximise their potential reporting value.
  11. Heard members of the Syrian opposition in London saying that Skype was their comms of choice, as being caught with a SatPhone in Syria is a death sentence currently.

    Mind you, the Syrians are reported to be deploying web filters against accessing sites. So would imagine there is a geek-race between acess to the internet and the Mukhabarat clamping it down.

    Didn't do Hosni Mubarak much good though, even after he turned off the internet the revolution still went through.
  12. Hitch,

    I think taking the uncoorborated opinions from a blog, twitter account or FAcebook page would be F6, but as they say on the internet, 'photos or STFU'. Videos put on Youtube / Liveleak and even photos put on Facebook can have a real value.
  13. My personal view is that decent OSINT today, if it had been available 10-15 years ago as classified material would have been classified TS UKEO BURN BEFORE READING and put in front of very senior people for action. Today though there is a cultural mindset in some that I've encountered which can be summed up as 'OSINT is shite for it has no PM, ergo I must not read, nor brief it for fear it makes me look silly'.

    We need an OSINT revolution in some areas...
  14. Completely agree. OSINT is multiple source, crowd-sourced, peer-reviewed and timely. It rewards collation and analysis. The product is far more likely to provide a true picture of ongoing events - so to that extent it's useful. What it won't do is give any particular insight into intentions; it's essentially a tool for maintaining sight of an ongoing narrative, for establishing what's normal (in order more easily to identify the absence of same or the presence of the abnormal) and for following discrete actors or communities.

    Secret intelligence, whatever the source, still remains of huge interest, obviously, as it's one of the only ways of obtaining an often imperfect insight into intentions. Of course, you run into the little difficulty of cross-referencing and confirming, because no-one would ever commit themselves to combat operations on the basis of a single-source, single-instance report, would they?
  15. And the equally dangerous mindset that 'whateverINT is totally believable for it has a BFO PM, ergo I must read and over-analyse it, and brief it to whoever will be impressed by my high level of clearance'.

    All other considerations aside I would have thought OSINT was attractive to 'customers' because it should be possible for them to understand the whole process, hence forming their own judgement about validity, while with some more esoteric sources they may never be told quite what the limitations of the sources and methods involved are.