what information are you protecting?

what information are you protecting?

week 6

For this forum, you are to answer one of the questions listed below. The original post must be a minimum of 250 words. Additionally, you must post two (2) peer reviews on a classmate’s original post. Please be courteous and succinct in your response. The goal is to extend the conversation through your observations and experience.


How are new technologies affecting OSINT collection and analysis?

What potential vulnerabilities does a social media network present?

Define Social Media Intelligence. Give examples

What potential affect does social media intelligence present regarding non state actors? Give examples to support your assertion.

Instructions: Your initial post should be at least 250 words. Please respond to at least 2 other students. Responses should be a minimum of 200 words each and include direct questions.

Reading & Resources:

Media Content:

Open Source Intelligence and Social Media

Introducing Social Media Intelligence
Social Media: Valuable Tools in Today’s Operational Environment
Using Google to track Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations by Coscia and Rios

Student Response #1 – Dwayne

Define Social Media Intelligence. Give examples:
Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) is the process and searching for, identifying and extracting social media content that presents indicators of security threats. SOCMINT use in domestic intelligence may also help police agencies and criminal investigators to gauge the civilian climate in their areas of responsibility. The current trend, particularly in the UK, is to develop capabilities that increase police cyber awareness, their influence through cyber means, and methods to monitor social media, also known as crowd sourcing.

The value of SOCMINT has been noted by authorities, which has in turn spurred spending on increasing their capabilities. Ormand says that “Underlying these developments is significant planned public investment in the capabilities that will allow the authorities to continue to access communications data and access under warrant where necessary the content of internet communications including social media” (Ormand, 2012, 802).

With the exponential increase in social media activity, authorities have a responsibility to adapt and act accordingly. In fact, with many outlandish social media posts prior to acts of violence, it would almost be criminal for authorities not to act. Public health experts suggest that they are able to detect and identify pandemics through social media. As well, psychologists believe Facebook may portray an accurate representation of an individuals mental health through indicative content.

With the amount of information that people post about themselves in the public forum, it stands to reason that it can and should be exploited by officials with a responsibility for public safety. Public information falls under one of the seven exemptions for the warrantless search – open view, and its use should be no cause for public concern.


Ormand, D. Introducing Social Media Intelligence (SOCMNT). 2012. Intelligence and National Security, 27:6, 801-823. Retrieved from https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Intelligence%20Studies/INTL%20422/Content/Week%206/Introducing%20Social%20Media%20Intelligence.pdf

Student Response #2 – Alyssa

What potential vulnerabilities does a social network present?

Social media has always seemed like such an innocent way to keep in touch with family and friends when there is a substantial distance; something that has made being half way across the world bearable at times. But with the expansion of the internet around the world and the access associated with it, it also allows the adversary an insight into our own personal information. “On Facebook alone, 250 million photos are added per day, as are 200 million tweets on Twitter. There are four billion video views per day on YouTube1.” These are just a few of the social networks alone that grant our own personal information to the world. Though it may seem harmless it could be used negatively if needed.

By posting your information, such as checking into your favorite restaurants, where you work, who you’re with on a constant basis, it provides the adversary with information about your schedule and whereabouts. If collected over time they could have a timeline of where you will be and when allowing for your home to be burglarized, physical harm to you, or more. Social media can be used in the case of sharing your experiences with those close to you but it must be done with caution.

Today, many social media sites allow for heightened privacy settings to protect your information. Although it is not 100% protected, it can save a lot of trouble in the long run. Obviously if your profiles are private but you still allows whomever requests to follow you to do so, what information are you protecting? If used appropriately, social media can be used for its sole intention of connecting you to friends and family and the outside world, but at your own discretion. I think many people these days are becoming more aware of the threats posed by social media and are taking the precautions to protect their information. For my own safety, for example, I have hidden my friends list, any family relations, relationships, and all personal information (birthday, hometown, high school, etc) in order to protect anyone close to me just to be safe. I use my social media to keep in contact with those I am away from and it is for my benefit alone. If social media is used with precaution it can eliminate the vulnerabilities associated with it such as exposing your personal information, friends and families information, etc. Anything can be a good thing if used properly.

[1] Sir David Omand , Jamie Bartlett & Carl Miller (2012): Introducing Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT), Intelligence and National Security, 27:6, 803.
what information are you protecting?



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