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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The OSINT Group's ‘Black Swan’ Program

From Business Wire:

The OSINT Group, a boutique research firm specializing in open source intelligence (“OSINT”) for the defense industry, and whose roster includes operatives formerly connected to a classified military intelligence program known as “Able Danger,” is now using its unique expertise to offer a competitive information advantage to sophisticated accredited investors.

The “Black Swan” Program is an unclassified intelligence initiative designed for multi-national corporations and financial institutions seeking to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace by using data mining and link analysis techniques of open sources of information. The program’s name is inspired by Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s 2007 book, The Black Swan, in which “Black Swan Events” are defined as rare, hard to predict, and high-impact incidents of large magnitude such as 9/11 and the current global financial crisis.

“The same methods and applications utilized by the U.S. Intelligence Community can be applied to investment risk analysis and research support in the corporate sector,” says Michael Bagley, founder and president of The OSINT Group. “Our team’s use of sophisticated software technology greatly enhances research operations and solidifies investment risk analysis, while ensuring that any information is accessed legally.”

Operation “Able Danger” was a controversial Pentagon program in place from 1999-2001 that used open source intelligence methods, data mining techniques and link analysis to identify several names of the 9/11 hijackers prior to the attacks in New York and Washington. The “Able Danger” Program became infamous, gaining national attention in the media and on Capitol Hill during congressional hearings in 2005 and 2006.