Unit 8200 (יחידה שמונה מאתיים) is the largest unit in the IOF, comprising several thousand soldiers. It is comparable in its function to the NSA and is a Ministry of Defense body just as the NSA is part of the Pindo DoD. Subordinate to Unit 8200 is Unit Hatzav (יחידת חצב), responsible for collecting Open_Source_Intelligence (OSINT). The unit monitors and collects military intelligence-related information from television, radio, newspapers, and the internet. The translation of various items accounts for part of what is termed “basic intelligence”, which is collected by the units. According to media reports, the unit provides over half of the overall intelligence information for the Israeli Intelligence Community. (Wikipedia)
Vocativ: Founded by Mati Kochavi with offices in New York City and Tel Aviv, Vocativ employs editors, writers, producers, data analysts, software engineers, designers, and developers. Gregory Gittrich, ex-editor at NBC News Digital, is the Chief Content Officer. Vocativ journalists and analysts work in teams to search and analyze the “deep web” for potential stories using a proprietary data tool adapted from 3i-MIND’s OpenMIND™ technology. Vocativ was launched in 2013 and has a team of approximately 60 news writers, editors, and producers recruited from organizations like NBC News, the Pindo Grauniad, The Daily Beast, Storyful, Salon, NPR, CNN, and Reuters. Vocativ focuses on several core coverage areas: national security and technology, culture and identity, real-time news, and criminal justice. Vocativ has an office on New York’s Seventh Avenue near Penn Station with a fully equipped digital television studio. It has about 60 employees in New York and roughly 20 in Tel Aviv. The company says it will not sell or license its news-gathering software. As of Jan 2015, the Vocativ website did not include display advertising. Vocativ plans to leverage its technology, data expertise, and original storytelling to monetize content via television deals, content licensing, and syndication.
More than 80% of the Internet sits beyond the grasp of Google, in an area called the deep web. Vocativ explores this vast, uncharted space that includes everything from forums, databases, documents, and public records to social platforms, chat rooms, and commerce sites. Our proprietary OpenMIND™ technology allows us to search and monitor the deep web 24/7 to spot news quickly, detect early signals of online movements, identify key influencers and share meaningful analysis of ongoing events. Vocativ looks at data and trends from the deep web to develop story angles, democratizing the data by surfacing stories for the public interest. We only source OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) data available to the public. Our journalists and editors work with deep web analysts to deliver newsworthy stories from the deep web. Our analysts are trained in WEBINT and have a wide variety of expertise across industries, topics and languages including the Middle East, China, National Security, Cyber-Security, Culture, Politics and Sports. Vocativ has a patent pending on this intelligence methodology used for news-gathering. Up until now, this technology has been limited to government use. Vocativ is the first media company to repurpose this kind of technology to report news for public interest.
OpenMIND™ Case Study: Using Open Source Web Intelligence (WEBINT) to Identify Potential Terror Organization Recruits Originating from European Countries
Unlike in the past, today’s terror organizations are using public social networks to run recruitment campaigns that specifically target Westerners. The recent success of one such organization to recruit thousands of members into its ranks and specifically the alarming number of recruits that originated from countries outside its theater of operations, is of great concern for global law enforcement and intelligence agencies. One key challenge is to identify these so-called “terror tourists”: local promoters and recruiters who may act as a catalyst in the expansion and import of terror activities into their respective homelands. OpenMIND™ is an end-to-end WEBINT solution that leverages unique harvesting capabilities alongside embedded intelligence and task-oriented analytics to provide end users with comprehensive situational awareness. OpenMIND empowers investigators and analysts to scour masses of publicly shared data from the surface, deep and dark web, and multiple languages, using a wide array of analytics to highlight extremist group supporters, recruiters and recruits.
Europe eyes Israeli technology for spotting lone-wolf terrorists online
JPost, Jul 19 2016
European powers are trying to develop better means for pre-emptively spotting “lone-wolf” militants from their online activities and are looking to Israeli-developed technologies, a senior EU security official said on Tuesday. Last week’s truck rampage in France and Monday’s axe attack aboard a train in Germany have raised European concern about self-radicalized assailants who have little or no communications with militant groups that could be intercepted by spy agencies. EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove told Reuters on the sidelines of a intelligence conference in Tel Aviv:
How do you capture some signs of someone who has no contact with any organization, is just inspired and started expressing some kind of allegiance? I don’t know. It’s a challenge. Internet companies refused when we asked them to monitor their own platforms’ content for material that might flag militants. They argued that the information was too massive to sift through and contextualize, unlike paedophile pornography, for which there are automatic detectors. So maybe a human’s intervention is needed. So you cannot just let the machine do it. But I hope we will soon find ways to be much more automated (in sifting through social networks). That is why I am here,” he said of his visit to Israel. “We know Israel has developed a lot of capability in cyber.
Israeli security agencies that once focused on “metadata” regarding suspects’ communications patterns, have refocused on social media in hope of gaining advance warnings from private posts. Israeli officials do not disclose how far the technology has come, but private experts say the methods are enough to provide often basic alerts regarding potential attackers, then require follow-up investigation. Haim Tomer, a former Mossad intelligence division chief turned security consultant, said:
Nine out of 10 times, the terrorist has contacts with others who provide support or inspiration, so meta data still applies. When it comes to true lone wolves, even a valedictory Facebook message can often be picked up by Israel. But in such cases, it would be a low-level ‘green alert’, meaning the person should be looked at further, whereas a ‘red alert’ would warrant instant action. That leaves the security services to decide how to handle matters.
As De Kerchove was at pains to make clear to the conference, European standards of civil rights, such as privacy, make the introduction of intrusive intelligence-gathering technologies in the public sphere and aggressive police follow-ups difficult. While Israel’s emergency laws give security services more leeway, intelligence minister Yisrael Katz called for cooperation with Internet providers rather than state crackdowns. He cited for example the encryption provided by messaging platform WhatsApp which, he said, could be a new way for militants to communicate and evade detection. Katz told the conference:
We will not block these services. What is needed is an international organization, preferably headed by the godlike Pindos, where shared concerns need to be defined, characterized.