倾世皇妃小说医女:当心!CIA在社交媒体上跟踪我们

来源:百度文库 编辑:中财网 时间:2024/07/25 09:25:25

中情局如何利用社交媒体跟踪公众感受

In a nondescript building in Virginia, analysts are tracking millions of tweets, blog posts, and Facebook updates from around the world

在弗吉尼亚州一幢不起眼的建筑物中,分析专家们正在跟踪全世界上百万条推特、博客以及Facebook的更新内容。

How stable is China? What are people discussing and thinking in Pakistan? To answer these sorts of question, the U.S. government has turned to a rich source: social media.

中国究竟有多稳定?巴基斯坦的民众都在讨论和思考什么?为了回答诸如此类的问题,美国政府借助了一个丰富的资源:社交媒体。

The Associated Press reports that the CIA maintains a social-media tracking center operated out of an nondescript building in a Virginia industrial park. The intelligence analysts at the agency's Open Source Center, who other agents refer to as "vengeful librarians," are tasked with sifting through millions of tweets, Facebook messages, online chat logs, and other public data on the World Wide Web to glean insights into the collective moods of regions or groups abroad. According to the Associated Press, these librarians are tracking up to five million tweets a day from places like China, Pakistan and Egypt:

据美联社报道,美国中央情报局在弗吉尼亚州一个工业园中选取了一幢不起眼的建筑物,并在这里运作其社交媒体跟踪中心。隶属于中情局开源中心的情报分析员们被其他探员称为“复仇的图书管理员”,他们的任务是筛选万维网里上百万条推特、Facebook信息、在线聊天记录以及其它公共信息,目的是深入了解国外各个区域或团体的情绪状况。美联社称,这些分析员们每天跟踪的推特信息高达500万条,而跟踪的目标则涉及中国、巴基斯坦和埃及等国家。

From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt.

分析员们收集的信息包罗万象,从阿拉伯世界到中国大陆,从一条充满怒火的推特到一篇颇有想法的博客,而且,他们通常都以当地的语言把信息记录下来。然后,他们会拿这些信息与当地的报纸或秘密拦截的电话内容相互进行参照。从这些领域当中,他们为白宫最高层官员提供实时的信息反馈,比如在海豹突击队击毙本拉登之后当地民众的情绪如何,或者预测中东哪个国家发生暴乱的时机已经成熟。

Yes, they saw the uprising in Egypt coming; they just didn't know exactly when revolution might hit, said the center's director, Doug Naquin. The center already had "predicted that social media in places like Egypt could be a game-changer and a threat to the regime," he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press at the center. CIA officials said it was the first such visit by a reporter the agency has ever granted.

该中心的负责人Doug Naquin称,他们的确预见了埃及的骚乱,只是无法精确判断骚乱爆发的时间。Doug Naquin在最近美联社的一次采访中称,该中心还“预测了埃及等国家的社交媒体可能将改变事态的发展,并有可能威胁到当地政权”。中情局官员称这是该部门首次接受记者的访问。

The CIA facility wasn't built specifically to track the ebb and flow of social media: The program was established in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission with the initial mandate to focus on counterterrorism and counterproliferation. According to the Associated Press, the center shifted gears and started focusing on social media after watching thousands of Iranian protesters turn to Twitter during the Iranian election protests of 2009, challenging the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power.

不过,中情局的分析中心并非为社交媒体而专门设立,起初建立该中心是源自9/11委员会关于集中精力进行反恐和反扩散的建议。美联社称,2009年伊朗大选期间曾有数千名抗议者在推特上进行抗议活动,对选举结果产生了影响,并最终使内贾德重新掌权,于是在该事件之后,分析中心改变了工作方式,开始专注于社交媒体。

In the past few years, sentiment and mood analysis have become mainstays in the defense and intelligence communities. Last October, an Electronic Frontier Foundation lawsuit revealed how the Department of Homeland Security has carefully monitored a variety of public online sources, from social networks to highly popular blogs like Daily Kos for years, alleging that "leading up to President Obama's January 2009 inauguration, DHS established a Social Networking Monitoring Center (SNMC) to monitor social-networking sites for 'items of interest.' "In August, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), invited analysts to submit proposals on the research applications of social media to strategic communication. DARPA planned on shelling out $42 million in funding for "memetrackers" to develop "innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems."

在过去的几年中,情绪分析已经成为国防和情报部门运用的重要手段。去年十月,电子前沿基金会的一起诉讼案揭示了国土安全部监视各种网络公共资源的整个过程:国土安全部设立了社交网络监视中心(SNMC)以监视社交网络上的“有关信息”,监视范围从社交网络到 Daily Kos等流行博客,其监视时间长达数年之久,直到2009年1月奥巴马总统宣誓就职之前才得以结束。今年八月份,国防先进技术研究计划署(DARPA)邀请分析员向战略沟通部门提交社交媒体研究应用的建议,还拨出4200万美元资金用于“文化基因跟踪”计划,目的是发展“创新方法以促进科学、装置或系统等领域的革命性进步”。

But how useful is all of this activity?
但上述所有这些行动到底产生了多大的作用?
Memetracking is still in its infancy. I spoke with Johan Bollen, a professor at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University. Bollen's research into how Twitter can be used to predict the rise and fall of the Dow Jones Industrial Average made him a niche celebrity last year. He notes that memetracking is facing serious challenges. For example, how do you get a random sample?

目前,文化基因跟踪计划尚处于初级阶段。笔者曾与印第安纳大学信息与计算学院的 Johan Bollen教授进行过交流。 在去年,Bollen教授对于如何利用推特预测道琼斯工业平均指数涨跌的研究让他一夜成名。他强调,文化基因跟踪技术正面临严峻挑战。例如其中一个问题就是,你如何能获得一份随机的样本?

"You have little control over the composition of a sample," Bollen explained. "Regular surveys are conducted with only 1000 people, but those samples are carefully balanced to provide an accurate cross section of a given society. This is much more difficult to do in these online environments. Sure, the samples are huge -- there are 750 million people on Facebook -- but no matter how you look at it, it's still possible that the sample could still be biased. It requires someone to own a computer, to be on Facebook, to even USE Facebook... There are all kind of biases built into these samples that are difficult to control for."

Bollen 教授解释称:“样本的组成几乎是无法控制的,通常情况下,调查仅仅设置1000个受访者,但这些样本都经过仔细的平衡,这样才可以准确覆盖某个特定社会的各个方面。同样的事情在网络上就会困难许多。虽然样本的数量巨大,Facebook上有7.5亿用户,但无论你采取什么方式,最终样本还是有可能产生偏离。这需要作为样本的人必须得拥有电脑、Facebook在线,甚至还要使用Facebook......样本中存在各种各样的偏离因素,想要控制它们是相当困难的。”

The other major challenge, says Bollen, is that sentiment analysis only provides a scrape of potentially useful information. "Right now, analysis is very specialized. We're looking at how people feel about very particular topics," says Bollen. "There's a lot room for growth in deeper semantic analysis: not just learning what people feel about something, but what people think about things. There are 250 million people on Twitter....if you could perform even a shallow analysis of people's opinions about something, their semantic opinions, you can learn a lot from the wisdom of the crowd that could be leveraged."

 Bollen教授还说,另外一个巨大的挑战就是情绪分析仅能提供一部分潜在可用的信息。"如今的分析都十分专业化。我们在观察人们的情绪时仅仅针对的是特定的主题。语义分析可以拓展的空间很大,这不仅仅是去了解人们对事物的感觉,而是他们对事物的思考。推特上有2.5亿用户......如果你能对人们的观点和语义进行粗浅的分析,就可以了解公众的想法并加以运用。"

Diving deep into the semantics of online communication is the next big challenge for government agencies. While the Associated Press points out that the CIA uses native dialects to determine sample sizes and pinpoint trending topics among target groups, deciphering the intricacies of human language is a major obstacle, and one that will not be easily overcome.

对于政府机构而言,深入到网络交流的数据中进行语义分析将是他们下一个巨大的挑战。美联社报道称,中情局在决定样本的大小、解析目标群体的流行话题时使用的是当地方言,这就给他们带来了一个巨大的障碍──读懂人类纷繁复杂的语言。