Several types of intelligence; political, military, social, health, environmental, cultural and economic provide crucial information for policy decisions. Most people see intelligence as collected via covert or secret mean. There are some intelligence that entail widely available information while others intelligence are indeed gathered via clandestine operations and only known at the highest government levels. An excellent intelligence management starts with the proper determination of what should be known. Precise requirements should be set, or else there will be unsystematic collection of data and the decision make will be left without pertinent information on which to act on. It is essential for the collected data to be evaluated and turned into usable form. Majority of the wide variety of sources are not reliable hence making need for evaluation. The reliability of sources is and the likely accuracy of the information they offer is rated by a standardized system.
The information that is gotten from open sources probably entails more than three quarter of the input to the most intelligence systems. However, this proportion always vary with the total number of state secrets for a country. The clandestine collection techniques from covert sources offer the basis for much or the romance and drama that is attributed to intelligence work in fiction. Even though the classic espionage agent never be obsolete completely, it is suggested by some observers that the role has largely been taken by machines which include but not limited to long range cameras, orbiting reconnaissance satellites and various detecting, acoustical and sensing instruments.
New intelligence technologies has made it easy to see in darkness, take detailed photographs from high altitudes and hear from far distances. However, it is only the spies who can produce information about the intentions and attitudes of international terrorists or foreign leaders. Indeed, some critics cited inadequate human intelligence as one of the factor that in the failure of United States law enforcement and intelligence agencies to avoid the devastating terrorist attacks on Washington, DC and New York City on eleventh day of September, two thousand and one.
There has been drastic advancement in methods of aerial reconnaissance since nineteen forties, when U.S drifted balloons that were carrying special cameras across soviet territory with aim of photographing industrial and military installations. In the modern era, aerial reconnaissance is done by aircraft, unmanned drones and satellites which have the ability to orbit a battlefield for twenty four hours. Nowadays, most intelligence organizations usually use electronic scavengers including planes, ships, and orbiting satellites to collect information about the radio communications of a country and its naval operations and equipment. For instance, and individual submarine can be identified by the unique and telltale noises it makes.
Computer applications and usage in data analysis on complex phenomenon like missile launches, rate of economic growth and industrial production has created a vast amount of information which threaten the systems of intelligence with inundation hence making the filtering of unnecessary information a crucial task. Great efforts have been made since the Second World War to develop efficient and effective means of cataloging, retrieving, and storing huge volume of data that is being amassed. However, it is believed by some observers that the collection of data, more so on the internet age has been emphasized too much. This is at the expense of computer technology, application of artificial intelligence and analysis which permits the computer programs to organize huge amount raw material for analysts promised to ensure that the management of tidal wave of information.
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