NATO Monitors Twitter to Gather Data Concerning Libya

By Kenna McHugh Comment

Social media is taking another turn in its diverse trends toward monitoring and culling intelligence in order to track down and counter military operations.

Amnesty International reported that social networks have become essential channels for organizing protests and inspiring support for political change. Now, the intelligence community has joined the social networks as one of its many tools to gather information.

NATO spokesman and Wing Commander Mike Bracken admitted last week that the organization oversees and regulates sites like Twitter to gather intelligence in such areas as Libya where ground troops are not allowed to go.

“We’ll get information from open source on the internet, we’ll get Twitter, you name any source of media and our fusion center will deliver all of that into useable intelligence,” Bracken said during briefing on June 10th.

The Twitter monitoring is proving to be “valuable updates” that pertain to allied forces. Twitter is definitely a worthwhile tool, in which the information has to be scrutinized and verified before it is used.

The Telegraph reports that NATO cannot act on a single source to drop bombs. They check on other reliable sources before acting on reports.

The Global and Mail reports that British military is taking submissions from Twitter users to “submit the precise co-ordinates of troops loyal to Colonel Moammar Gadhafi.”

It will be interesting to see how gathering military intelligence on crucial areas of injustice via social networks assists the overall strategic plan to end tyranny. I am sure we will discover other ways to utilize the medium. How about a more calming application? Utilize the medium to terminatively end conflicts among societies so war is not prevalent.