Advance Order (15 Jan 15): Digital Humanitarians: How Big Data is Changing the Face of Humanitarian Response

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

This book shows us once again why Patrick Meier is a thought leader in leveraging emerging technologies for social impact. His book captures the enormous possibilities and avoidable pitfalls of big data, social media and artificial intelligence in crisis contexts. Digital humanitarians can be powerful agents for social change but ground-truthing what we see and hear digitally is more important than ever.
—Aleem Walji, Chief Innovation Advisor, Leadership, Learning, and Innovation, World Bank Group

Phi Beta Iota: The book title and description from the publisher are misleading.  This is not a book about Big Data. It is a book about distributed human networks using open source information technologies to achieve situational awareness with a speed and precision that the entire US secret intelligence community (which costs $100 billion a year) cannot match.

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Patrick Meier @ Phi Beta Iota

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Dec 18

Mel Goodman: CIA Directors’ High Crimes

Melvin A. Goodman

Melvin A. Goodman

The CIA’s Operation Deception

A Spurious Challenge to the Senate Torture Report

CounterPunch, 10 December 2014

CIA director John Brennan, having failed to block the release of the Senate intelligence committee’s report on torture and abuse, is now abetting the efforts of former CIA directors and deputy directors to rebut the report’s conclusions that the interrogation techniques amounted to sadism and that senior CIA officials lied to the White House, the Congress, and the Department of Justice about the effectiveness of the enhanced interrogation program.  Former CIA directors George Tenet and Michael Hayden and deputy directors John McLaughlin and Steve Kappes, who were guilty of past deceit on sensitive issues, have threatened to make documents available to undermine the findings of the Senate committee.  The senior operations officer who ran the CIA’s torture and abuse program, Jose Rodriquez, has been permitted to write a book and a long essay in the Washington Post that argue the interrogation techniques were legal and effective.  Their charges are completely spurious and their credibility is non-existent. Read more.

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Dec 10

Steven Aftergood: CIA Torture Report – Oversight, But No Remedies Yet — With Strong PBI Comment

Steven Aftergood

Steven Aftergood

CIA Torture Report: Oversight, But No Remedies Yet

The release of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program is, among other things, an epic act of record preservation. Numerous CIA records that might not have been disclosed for decades, or ever, were rescued from oblivion by the Senate report and are now indelibly cited and quoted, even if many of them are not yet released in full. That’s not a small thing, since the history of the CIA interrogation program was not a story that the Agency was motivated or equipped to tell. Read more.

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Dec 10