|Derek Curry,Jennifer Gradecki
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The Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency (CSIA) exposes potential problems, assumptions, or oversights inherent in current dataveillance processes in order to help people understand both the effectiveness of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) processing and its impact on our privacy. The public has the right to ask questions about how a computer program determines if they are a threat to national security and to question the practicality of using statistical pattern recognition algorithms in place of human judgment.
Jennifer Gradecki, Author
The Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency (CSIA) is a creative research project that takes the form of an online application and interactive installation that partially replicates an Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) system. The app is based on techniques known to be used by intelligence agencies from technical documents, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and leaked documents. The CSIA’s goal is to expose potential problems, assumptions or oversights inherent in current dataveillance processes in order to help people understand both the effectiveness of OSINT processing and its impact on our privacy.
The CSIA app is accessible online and consists of an interface that allows the viewer to experience how intelligence agents view social media posts and multiple machine-learning classifiers for predictive policing. Like OSINT interfaces used by intelligence agencies and government contractors, the CSIA recontextualizes social media posts by removing them from their original context and reframing them as a potential threat to national security. Since the project was first released in 2015, it has included various components, such as: a surveillance interface where users can evaluate Tweets based on their threat to national security, a feature that allows users to test and search their own social media posts, and multiple Naïve Bayes supervised machine-learning classifiers. The project is a collaboration between Derek Curry and Jennifer Gradecki and was made possible by the support of Science Gallery Dublin.