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Thread: OSINT: "Brown Moses" & Bellingcat (merged thread)

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default OSINT: "Brown Moses" & Bellingcat (merged thread)

    Moderator's Note

    This thread today had two other related threads merged together. 'Brown Moses' work is the focus and is separate from a general open source intelligence thread (ends).

    A true "armchair" expert, who from his home, has become a reputable source of information and intelligence, much of it visual - shown on YouTube. Profiled today in the New Yorker (behind a paywall), but the Huffington Post has a full article too:

    A little background:
    From his living room, Higgins was racing to solve the same whodunit confronting world leaders amid claims that Assad had unleashed chemical weapons against rebel sympathizers in the suburbs of Damascus. Was Zamalka a victim of such an attack? If so, who was responsible for the deed?

    On paper, Higgins -- a 34-year-old with a 2-year-old daughter -- brought no credentials for the job. He had no formal intelligence training or security clearance that gave him access to classified documents. He could not speak or read Arabic. He had never set foot in the Middle East...
    Yes he has his critics and supporters - like this un-named CW expert:
    I think Eliot has done a lot more for Syria than the U.N.
    Twitter shows 13k followers and 56k Tweets.

    OSINT in a different way:
    When viewed in isolation, the micro-dispatches posted to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube tended to confuse and overwhelm anyone trying to make sense of events. But if you viewed such posts together, Higgins realized, the photos and videos could yield detailed accounts of events across the globe. The posts could be used to fact check claims, providing clues far beyond what cameramen had intended to show. Arguments could be won, myths disproved, rival commenters put in their place.
    One wonders how OSINT and people like "Brown Moses" will fare when journalists and NGOs will have drones.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-24-2014 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Add note

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