Strengthening Your Ability To Identify Mis- and DisInformation

Reports recently surfaced of FBI personnel involving themselves with a prominent social media company to control the spread of “misinformation” and the squelching of “disinformation.”  Catching and suppressing or eliminating speech spread on social media deemed false or inaccurate is an insurmountable goal, and one fraught with problems, for example, limited resources. But the largerContinue reading “Strengthening Your Ability To Identify Mis- and DisInformation”

Credible, Unbiased Sources Are The Underpinning Of A Defensible Analysis 

An FBI intelligence product intended for internal use only was recently leaked to the public. The piece received criticism from some outlets for its content, but also for its sourcing.  The problem with its sourcing came down to two issues: the product used popular magazines as a primary means of support for its premises; andContinue reading “Credible, Unbiased Sources Are The Underpinning Of A Defensible Analysis “

The Route 91 Harvest Shooter: Adding Perspective With A Timeline

When supporting a complex investigation through intelligence analysis one way to organize your data is through a timeline. When incidents leading up to an event are sorted chronologically they can sometimes put precipitating incidents into perspective, which may reveal clues that are less apparent than when you’re reading case files alone. Timelines are also helpfulContinue reading “The Route 91 Harvest Shooter: Adding Perspective With A Timeline”

The Fallibility Of Data

The phrase “science and data” is used widely to imply an indisputable truth. Science has the weight of repeatable experiments with consistent results to support it, but data are simply individual facts that are of limited value unless they are extrapolative to a population, and they are correctly interpreted and contextualized. If the data areContinue reading “The Fallibility Of Data”

Compiling A Defensible Data Set

Compiling a data set to support an intelligence project seems like a straightforward process: define attributes, select entities, and add them to a database for later sorting and analysis. In reality, the process can be challenging to get right. One of the first obstacles is finding data. There are three choices: assemble your own dataContinue reading “Compiling A Defensible Data Set”

Assessing The Assessment: “Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat In 2021”

Note: This post is based exclusively on the material released to the public and available on the DHS Web site. I have not seen the full assessment, which would include supporting facts. Nevertheless, an executive summary is a condensed version of a full report and should offer readers enough information on which to base aContinue reading “Assessing The Assessment: “Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat In 2021””

What Do We Analyze?

Although, there is a function in analysis for projecting uncertain futures, our general role is to analyze concrete, historical data. The data may be obtained internally in the course of an agency’s mission, or they may be obtained externally from data sets compiled by government and private entities. Internally-obtained data Internally-obtained data are likely partContinue reading “What Do We Analyze?”