The Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency (CSIA) is an interactive artwork that allows users to perform the role of an intelligence analyst through an online interface. It is based on techniques known to be used by intelligence agencies from technical documents, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and leaked documents. The goal of the project is to help people understand both the effectiveness of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) processing, and its impact on our privacy.
The application consists of five main parts: The Social Media Monitor, a surveillance interface where users evaluate Tweets based on their threat to national security. Two Naïve Bayes supervised machine-learning classifiers that automatically label tweets as suspicious or not suspicious that users can review for accuracy and idiosyncrasies. The Social Media Post Inspector, where users can submit text to see if a post is likely to be considered threatening by intelligence agencies before sharing it on social media. The Watchlist, where users can target themselves and others as subjects of social media monitoring, and which provides automated evaluations from our machine-learning classifiers to show how social media posts may be treated by OSINT surveillance systems. A Resource Library that links to documents that informed the creation of the app. The CSIA provides first-hand experience with social media monitoring, allowing users to choose how they want to navigate social media surveillance.