[Air-L] Map of WikiLeaks "Vital Facilities"

Richard Forno rforno at infowarrior.org
Tue Dec 7 16:19:36 PST 2010

Nifty idea, Matt!

The USG's response to the WL situation reinforces what I learned firsthand in meetings with some folks on infrastructure protection during those frantic few weeks following the attacks of 9/11, and (to my dismay and annoyance) have observed in the years since both professionally and scholastically.

Namely, that the USG still thinks it can put 2 and 2 together and *only* it knows the answer. 

Much, if not all, of the "secrets" contained in that "critical resources" document could be developed and/or disclosed publicly by academics, observant local citizens in a given country, Wall Street analysts, and/or other subject matter experts -- official or otherwise.  

To wit (and I'm generalising):

"Port X supplies 50% of Countty Y's oil.  Its disruption could destablise the region."    
"River X is a major artery for the movement of US forces through region Y."
"Company X is a leading manufacturer of vaccine Y."
"Company Y's primary transocean submarine cables terminate at Pier X in Port Y in Country Z."

Such information gleaned from public source is termed "open source intelligence" because it does not come via secret classified sources and methods.  

Unfortunately, for reactive political reasons, I believe a consequence of the WL situation will be for us to revert back to the pre-9/11 stovepiping and an environment that did not facilitate effective sharing of information to folks who need it....and the sustaining of the mindset in this town that only those "in the know" are "the only ones who do know."  

When I raised this issue during an informal chat with some WH staffers yesterday, their collective response was to shake their heads and say "well, duh."  (Note: the folks I spoke with indeed "get" the Internet, understand the nature of information flows in the modern day, and are frustrated with how the USG is responding to the Wikileaks situation and the "information age" more generally.)

- rick,
trying not to rant tonight

Richard F. Forno, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Director, Cybersecurity
University of Maryland Baltimore County

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