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11 June 2007

Conference season

Our thoughts lately turn towards the perennial summer institution of the intelligence community conference – the time to travel (perhaps if only across town, and even to that most rare of luxuries - the world outside of the vault, the one with windows...), sit lightly (if long), and reflect upon the art and science rather than on the press of day to day events.

Our business side / competitive intelligence colleagues kicked off the season in the late spring, but then again vendors are always hungry for Q3 leads during the long doldrums of executive vacations and budget uncertainties.

The educator’s annual conference is currently going on, with a most interesting collection of heavyweights displaying great interest in the generation to which the Long War will be given.

A few of the more established intel schools are also hosting a small function of their own, as usual out in the boondocks of the Great Lakes.

And of course, there is the event everyone is waiting for: the DNI OSINT conference, where we hope to see something new, interesting, and definitive emerging from the movements within the open source side of the community. (Standing room only, already, we note.)

Let’s hope the powerpoint rangers practice better OPSEC for the remainder of the summer, based on the recent news.

We would also love to see a bigger push for paper submissions at these events. While it is nice to have a good lunch, and (hopefully) engaging speakers; these functions represent a unique chance to spur contributions to the literature in a manner that the longer production cycle journals do not. There are few other fields where conferences do not routinely include papers, and it has been a long time since the 2005 analysis conference.

Alas, in the meantime those seeking further reading from the conference literature must content themselves with the (sometimes overly) academic offerings from the International Studies Association’s past meetings.

We also await the emergence into the public light of the various indicators - which will (no doubt) manifest the trends of the ever-shifting currents of politics within the IC. These are troubled days, and much more will out before the season ends, we should think.

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