Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency

Interactive installation

2015 - ongoing

The Crowd-Sourced Intelligence Agency (CSIA) is an interactive artwork that allows users to perform the role of an intelligence analyst through an online interface, art installations, and public interventions. Social media is surveilled as part of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), which also includes news, academic articles, and other publicly available information. The CSIA exposes 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 was created using technical manuals, research reports, academic papers, leaked documents, and Freedom of Information Act files. The primary component is an online application that partially replicates an OSINT system, including an interface with multiple machine-learning classifiers for predictive policing that allows the viewer to experience how intelligence analysts view social media posts. 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.

Support for CSIA was provided by Science Gallery Dublin. The project is a collaboration with Derek Curry as part of our reserach into dataveillance systems.