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date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

“Sources and methods” is a term often used to describe the practice of intelligence collection and analysis. Intelligence sources and the nature of information obtained vary. Intelligence sources may include information obtained from espionage, images obtained by satellites, intercepted communications, and publicly available media reporting. The nature of information may vary, from purloined documents to the “signature” of a ship's radar. The term “methods,” which is synonymous with “tradecraft,” pertains to the techniques used by operations officers and analysts to carry out their duties. Methods may include social-science methodologies, computer-based analytic tools, maintaining secretive communications, and so on. Intelligence agencies worldwide strive to protect their “sources and methods” because they are crucial to the success of ongoing and future operations and analysis, and a, comprise of the ways they collect and analyze information can give opponents a keen appreciation of their overall capabilities and interests. In the advent of globalization, the barriers are dissolved between foreign and domestic violence activities, including the ways local and national law enforcement and intelligence agencies work. Distinctions between private and public interests and entities are also blurred as activities in the public and private sphere interact to shape domestic and international threats. Apart from globalization, the advent of information revolution has also changed the practice and study of intelligence. Policymakers, analysts, and scholars are now confronted with a torrent of data and information as well as the virtual realities of “cyberspace.” New collective workspaces, which are empowered by the advancement in communication and computer technologies, are also creating new opportunities for collaboration. This article discusses three emerging topics in the study and practice of intelligence in such a way to illustrate the emerging sources and methods of intelligence studies. These new emerging topics are: the intelligence for homeland security, the concept of collective intelligence, and the application of intelligence and warning methodologies to mitigate risk.

Keywords: sources and methods, intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, sources, methods, collective intelligence, application of intelligence, warning methodologies, homeland security

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