Sunday, August 03, 2008

Spook School?


Is this a school to train spies? I think that most corporations and Media groups would LOVE to have people with this training! This could be a lot of fun, can I get permission to attend? It might have to be a computer class, but I think that might be the point, anyway.

So, who do I have to talk to?


Spook School - News - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper: When classes at the University of Washington resume this fall, some students at the school will be under the watchful eye of a Central Intelligence Agency spook. In fact, some of them will even be learning from him.

This fall, Dr. Tim Thomas, a CIA agent specializing in "open source" data mining, will begin a two-year stint as an officer-in-residence at the UW's Institute for National Security Education and Research (INSER), which is financed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. That office is an umbrella organization for groups such as the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the CIA—which will provide the university with $2.5 million in grant money over the next five years.

It's not unusual for political or military organizations to recruit on campuses, but it seems strange for the UW to align itself with an agency most recently in the news for overseas kidnappings and harsh interrogation tactics such as waterboarding.

INSER focuses on so-called "open source" intelligence—gathering information from publicly available documents, newspapers, TV shows, and blogs in other countries. Under Thomas's tutelage, students will learn the fine art of data mining and intelligence gathering, and discuss U.S. foreign policy and the strategic differences between the cold war and the war on terror.

"It's the kind of expertise we didn't particularly have here," says Bob Roseth, director of the Office of News and Information at UW. [Thomas has] been vetted very thoroughly. He's not just any CIA agent."

While INSER focuses more on information retrieval and intelligence gathering than espionage, the UW has kept the program fairly quiet. INSER has been around since January 2007, but faculty members—including UW spokesman Norm Arkans—were unable to provide many details about the program. What's more, students don't appear to be aware that intelligence agencies are present on campus.When classes at the University of Washington resume this fall, some students at the school will be under the watchful eye of a Central Intelligence Agency spook. In fact, some of them will even be learning from him.

This fall, Dr. Tim Thomas, a CIA agent specializing in "open source" data mining, will begin a two-year stint as an officer-in-residence at the UW's Institute for National Security Education and Research (INSER), which is financed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. That office is an umbrella organization for groups such as the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the CIA—which will provide the university with $2.5 million in grant money over the next five years.

It's not unusual for political or military organizations to recruit on campuses, but it seems strange for the UW to align itself with an agency most recently in the news for overseas kidnappings and harsh interrogation tactics such as waterboarding.

INSER focuses on so-called "open source" intelligence—gathering information from publicly available documents, newspapers, TV shows, and blogs in other countries. Under Thomas's tutelage, students will learn the fine art of data mining and intelligence gathering, and discuss U.S. foreign policy and the strategic differences between the cold war and the war on terror.

"It's the kind of expertise we didn't particularly have here," says Bob Roseth, director of the Office of News and Information at UW. [Thomas has] been vetted very thoroughly. He's not just any CIA agent."

While INSER focuses more on information retrieval and intelligence gathering than espionage, the UW has kept the program fairly quiet. INSER has been around since January 2007, but faculty members—including UW spokesman Norm Arkans—were unable to provide many details about the program. What's more, students don't appear to be aware that intelligence agencies are present on campus."

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