Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Intellipedia - A US government intelligence Wiki that mere mortals aren't allowed to view.

So I was browsing Wikipedia looking for creepy United States government intelligence agencies. Hey, they're a dime a dozen! Such as the "Information Awareness Office" (established at the height of the paranoid Bush years), which seems to be going out of its way to say "government spooks' world-wide conspiracy" with just their logo alone:

But then I linked along and discovered "Intellipedia", a collaborative database for sharing information between the various (multi-hydra-headed) intelligence communities. "Cool beans!" I exclaimed dorkily, because I've heard all about this open government thing and what better way for all of us US citizens to participate in our national security than to collaborate with US intelligence, right? And we cyber-denizens and open-source proponents know that "obscurity != security", right? Besides, if it's just intelligence about outside threats to the US, what could they possibly have to hide? If there's a terrorist plot afoot to bomb something, don't we all have a right - perhaps even a patriotic duty - to be informed?

Well, no, turns out that you need US security clearance just to view the damn thing! The link at Intellipedia stops you dead, demanding some kind of electronic passport called an "Intelink" to go any further. Ironic, considering that it's supplied by Google. Wait, who played that scare chord?

Well, there you go, you've heard of the "dark web" before? What could be darker?

Oh, and the FBI has its own "Bureaupedia" - and it's closed to public viewing as well. Fine then, catch your own criminals!

And more classified US websites. The thing that is impressive is just how large this is. The US basically has its own "shadow Internet". Now, pause and consider this point: Citizens frequently complain about how the US government seems out of touch with its people. Picture your own internal office intranet at work, if you have one. Naturally, if there's an artificial wall between public and private, you tend to stay on one side of it, right? So it just could be that government officials act as if they're ignorant of what the rest of us are thinking because they use their own Internet.