Virtual HUMINT: conducting human intelligence operations in the virtual environment
MetadataShow full item record
The present research focuses on the concept of virtual HUMINT and the potential for recruiting human sources exclusively through virtual means. Based on the systematic review of 153 sources and the meta-interpretation of 23 studies, this thesis highlights the value for augmenting traditional HUMINT operations with virtual ones. In particular, the research shows that online social networking, gaming, and dating can serve as effective mechanisms for the virtual recruitment of human sources. Furthermore, an evaluation of Internet activity worldwide shows that most of the countries and territories that are of interest for intelligence collectors can be accessed through these environments--making virtual HUMINT not only a possibility but also a relevant option. The research also indicates that virtual HUMINT offers a particular value in reducing risk. Similar to the way drones have enhanced U.S. air operations by safely extending the military’s reach, virtual intelligence officers could recruit sources from beyond the battlefield. Virtual HUMINT may also help intelligence agencies gain better access to denied areas or places where it is especially difficult to insert personnel. Ultimately, the rapid growth of the Internet and the continuous migration from the physical to the virtual world will soon make virtual HUMINT invaluable.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Gonzales, Walter A. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2013-03);The most vital source of National Intelligence information is derived from Human Intelligence (HUMINT). HUMINT, the eldest intelligence discipline, has proven to be a force multiplier for commanders during the Global War ...
Jackson, Matthew J. (Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2004-09);The Assessment and Investment Model (AIM) introduced in 2003 a fiscally constrained The New Enemy hides in the shadows of anonymity. As of September 11, 2001, combat in today's world is much more challenging and requires ...
Collapsing insurgent organizations through leadership decapitation : a comparison of targeted killing and targeted incarceration in insurgent organizations Staeheli, Paul W. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2010-03);Killing or capturing an insurgent leader provides a means of eliminating the knowledge, charismatic power, and direction that the leader instills within the organization. Technological breakthroughs in signal intelligence ...