Public Intelligence Workshop - CCC 2008 - Gernot Hausar

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Chaos Computer Congress 2008 (25.C3) - Public Intelligence Workshop

workshop description

[ ]

...information is out there. let's pool our sources and have fun.

Gernot Hausar [ gernot_hausar (at) ]

[ for the more scientific minded ]

Intelligence is a term used for information in the intelligence community. recent studies have shown that two thirds of the information obtained by intelligence agencies is freely available over the net. This now empowers every citizen to collect and evaluate his own information for his or her private intelligence service.

Public Intelligence in this context means the use of (electronic) open source information by the critical citizen to acquire knowledge and - in a political context - to control the state (Gernot Hausar).

The nearly instantaneous transfer of electronic information and the free availability allows the interested citizen to evaluate information as fast as professional institutions (govt, business).

This workshop presents some ideas on how to evaluate and use information. Practical strategies are developed with participants to avoid permanent information overflow while still collecting and disseminating relevant information for decision making processes. The more participation, the better the result. Bring your ideas and sources.


  • [ intelligence] is a term used for information in the intelligence community.
  • [ intelligence agency ] in intelligence usage, an organization or individual engaged in collecting and/or processing information. Also called collection agency (Dict of Intel Terms, DOD, 2001).
  • [ public intelligence ] means the use of (electronic) open source information by the critical citizen to acquire knowledge, protect his way of life and - in a political context - to control the state (G. Hausar).


intel gathering, information sorting, finding information, protecting intel, access control, intrusion prevention, security, intel overflow, intel evaluation, intel tools, intel software, intel on the net.

intel use?! examples

[ political use ]

  • protesters use webcams and film the police, stream it to servers on the net to document police brutality
  • protesters use microcopters to film and spy on police (see 25.C3 microcopter workshop)
  • protesters use twitter to communicate police movement

public space/citizen/democracy and intelligence

This text has been formulated as part of the workshop.


John gilmore, co-founder of the socialrights organisation Electronic Frontier Foundation quotes in his keynote to the congress- topic 'nothing to hide' at the 25C3 (chaos communication congress 2008) the following theses by david brin:: 'accountability is more important than privacy.'

Beside of others this theses reflects the aspect of an individual responsibility, as well as the aspect of a participation. A perspective, that can especially be considered in front of the changing figure from a consumer- to a participating-society If we likewise look at the on the 2008-12-10 with the 60th anniversary celebrated adopting and proclaiming of the human rights, we can figure out a confirmation of such civil participating. article 21 of the declaration of the human rights says:

  1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
  3. (...)

In this sense, with an online-based collaborative, public intelligence it might be realized a sustainable contribution for a qualitive further development of the commonwealth (in it's original sense) by an involvement of the different forces including those of a civil society.


John gilmore, mitbegruender der buergerrechtsorganisation Electronic Frontier Foundation zitiert in seiner keynote zum tagungsthema 'nothing to hide' auf dem 25C3 (chaos communication congress 2008) die folgende these von david brin: 'accountability is more important than privacy.' [uebersetzt: verantwortlichkeit wiegt schwerer als vertraulichkeit]

Neben anderem ruft diese these den aspekt einer eigenverantwortung aber auch den einer eigenen beteiligung auf. Eine perspektive, die sich insbesondere vor dem sich wandelnden bild von einer konsum- zu einer partizipations-gesellschaft einordnen laesst. Schauen wir gleichermassen in die am 10.12.2008 mit dem 60. jahrestag ihrer verkuendung und verabschiedung gefeierten menschenrechte, so kann hier eine bestaetigung fuer ein ziviles patizipieren ausgemacht werden. artikel 21 der allgemeinen erklaerung der menschenrechte besagt:

  1. Jeder hat das recht, an der gestaltung der oeffentlichen angelegenheiten seines landes unmittelbar oder durch frei gewaehlte vertreter mitzuwirken.
  2. Jeder hat das recht auf gleichen zugang zu oeffentlichen aemtern in seinem lande.
  3. (...)

In diesem sinne kann es mit einer online gestuetzten gemeinschaftlichen intelligenz um einen nachhaltigen beitrag zur qualitativen fortentwicklung des gemeinwesens unter einbeziehung der verschiedenen also auch der zivilen gesellschaftlichen kraefte gehen.

anti-terror laws

With the new anti-terror laws it is more important than ever to have alternative sources of information. This video deals with the consequences of the new anti-terror laws in Germany (Du bist English Subtitles).

<youtube v="pdIA0jeW-24" /> Download: High Quality Quicktime 60 MB - | - Medium Quicktime

„You are a terrorist is a satire of two official German social-marketing-campaigns. Whereas „Du bist Deutschland (You are Germany) was promoting the national consciousness and a child-friendly Germany, „You are a terrorist is the answer to todays politics in Germany.
All Citizens are under general suspicion. Germany becomes a preventive surveillance society. By visualizing already passed and future laws, it shows how Germany of the present and the very near future does look like.

information warfare

[ introduction ]

[ military theory ]

[ civilian implications ]

[ websites ]

digital civil rights

poland: alternative information sources

  • Have some Poland-specific information, but only the most important one, not updated as frequently as English one. Looks more like translation of translation of world information from

OTOH it contains articles about recent history explaining it, but one always needs to check discussion page to look for controversies.

  • BBC has some information about Poland, but more encyclopedic ones than really good news coverage
  • CIA fackbook - encyclopedia, but interesting view from other country perspective (e.g. inclusion of catholic church to main political pressure forces, which if told by any polish politician would mean political death for him/her)
  • htttp:// - for all countires (like above) but good for tracking trends
  • Not one source, but more idea (based on FOIA). In Poland we have something similar: each public entity is supposed to publish BIP (Biuletyn Informacki Publicznej, Public Information News-source). One could think about some kind of mashup aggregating public information from offices.


[ wikileaks ] "Wikileaks accepts classified, censored or otherwise restricted material of political, diplomatic or ethical significance. Wikileaks does not accept rumour, opinion or other kinds of first hand reporting or material that is already publicly available.

All staff who deal with sources are accredited journalists. All submissions establish a journalist-source relationship. [...]

Wikileaks records no source identifying information and there are a number of submission mechanisms available to deal with even the most sensitive national security information."

[ foia ] "The Record/Information Dissemination Section/Freedom of Information-Privacy Acts (FOIPA) search for records provides copies of FBI files relevant to a FOIPA request for information. FOIPA provides responsive documents to requesters seeking "reasonably described information." For a FOIPA search, the subject name, event, activity, business, or event is searched to determine whether there is an investigative file associated with the subject. "

[ federation of american scientists ] "The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) was founded in 1945 by scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bombs. These scientists recognized that science had become central to many key public policy questions. They believed that scientists had a unique responsibility to both warn the public and policy leaders of potential dangers from scientific and technical advances and to show how good policy could increase the benefits of new scientific knowledge."

[ National Security Archives ] An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States.

alternative geopolitical information

[ stratfor ] Geopolitical information service with some free information on the blog.

technology and society

social sciences




Info War. Information.Macht.Krieg. Katalog Ars Electronica 1997. Catalog of Ars Electronica 1998 - Theory (English/German) ISBN: 3-211-83134-7, Amazon.

amazon booklinks