You gotta respect an organization funded by the U.S. Congress with a classified budget that discloses on its website it operates without a mission and focuses on what-if scenarios for the future.
Sounds like fun, eh?
If Government 2.0 is a beehive, then the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency is its Mother Queen. She’s so new that the official A to Z list of U.S government departments and agencies lacks an entry.
Reporting to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, IARPA (pronounced EYE-arpa) has three objectives: smart collection, incisive analysis, and safe and secure operations.
The folks at HowStuffWorks.com compiled an impressive 6-page summary of the agency.
IARPA streamlines the National Security Agency’s Disruptive Technology Office (previously known as the Advanced Research and Development Activity); the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s National Technology Alliance; and the Central Intelligence Agency’s Intelligence Technology Innovation Center.
In other words, IARPA fills the gaps presented by the 16 members of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
One of its projects is code-named A-SpaceX, or Analysis Workspace Exploitation, which simulates what-if scenarios for intel gathering by developing virtual islands on social networks like Second Life (which you can think of as a role-playing online video game).
Defense Intelligence Agency team member Lewis Shepherd provides more information on A-SpaceX, including links to numerous blogs that distort the facts.
Another project, which you may recall hearing conspiracy theories about six months ago from a blog post on Wired, is called Reynard which enables intel agents to tap into online virtual games to sniff out potential terrorists.
Wired failed to mention the U.S. public has nothing to worry about:
“As the intelligence community seeks to use new tools, techniques, and approaches to keep the country safe, so too the ODNI must develop and use new tools, techniques and approaches to protect civil liberties and privacy,” states the data mining report presented by ODNI to Congress (and the source of the Wired post).
For more information on the intel community’s tools, here’s my last post about A-Space, Intellipedia, and Intelink that Uncle Sam is developing and using to protect the country from spies and terrorists.
You may also enjoy reading an earlier post of mine about the U.S. military enhancing tactical networking solutions with social media.
In a recent interview with IEEE Spectrum, IARPA director Lisa Porter said she’s looking for staff to join the fledging organization.
I’m a smart person and a risk-taker with technological expertise and programmatic knowledge, and I have the passionate know-how to bring an idea to reality.
IARPA, do you want to hire me? I can be your social media evangelist!