About this Episode
Daniel Clemens, ShadowDragon CEO
Elliott Anderson, ShadowDragon CTO
Nico Dekens, ShadowDragon Director of Intelligence and Innovation Collection (aka Dutch_OSINTguy)
David Cook, ShadowDragon Director of National Security
In our last podcast of 2023, the ShadowDragon crew talked about the importance of veterans’ service, disinformation, and gave some of our best predictions for 2024.
One of ShadowDragon’s newest employees, David Cook, talks about running a non-profit focused on Special Operations Forces (SOF) advocacy:
• The Special Operations Association of America (SOAA.org) is a veteran service organization that advocates for the past, present and future SOF community.
• David first found SOAA during the Afghanistan withdrawal and has been involved ever since.
• SOAA, Congress, and several other organizations’ use of open-source information during the withdrawal to help Americans and our Afghan allies.
• Bringing service to veterans everywhere we go – ShadowDragon included.
• Launching a SkillBridge partnership to assist active-duty service members transitioning to the civilian world.
• OSINT use in the Afghanistan withdrawal
• Injection of false information into crisis situations and how to triage fact from fiction.
Automation in OSINT, according to Nico, the Dutch OSINT Guy:
• OSINT is an arduous process – automation can be a powerful tool in highlighting what’s important.
• Utilizing ChatGPT to ‘stress-test’ narratives and large amounts of content to narrow down actor motives.
• Automated image searches are best used in open-source investigations where the margin for human error is high.
• Automation allows investigators and analysts to scale with the amount and volume of information and data that is ubiquitous today.
Dependency of Large-Language Models (LLMs), and other tech:
• Utilizing LLMs for analysis must be used with caution – there are AI ‘hallucinations’ that return false information.
• Remember: the models are trained using data from humans, so it still has a margin of error.
• Investigators and analysts should be aware of AI ‘hallucinations’ within their OSINT tools they use.
• Small cognitive conditioning happens with the dependency of technology and devices – we’re in for an interesting year with external catalysts (election, emerging LLMs/deepfake tech, etc.).
“2024 is gonna be…crazy”, Daniel Clemens, CEO of ShadowDragon
• People are not going to be able to trust what hear and see at the end of 2024 due to deepfake technology advances, segregation in the digital world manifesting itself in the physical world.
• Regulation for ‘disinformation’ will not go anywhere, but there will be broad discussion and public discourse surrounding automated information – videos, audio recordings, and images.
• Disinformation needs to be re-branded and specifically defined in contrast to foreign malign influence operations.
Elliott’s OSINT recommendations:
• The popularity of OSINT will spurn regulatory action and we’ll see laws made and legal decisions on OSINT.
Daniel’s OSINT recommendations:
• The value of discernment will be ‘gold’ and being able to deconstruct what information is in front of them will need to be developed and honed.
• The ‘AI’ buzzword in OSINT will start to collapse – but some capabilities will get better because of automation, especially Geo-Spatial Intelligence (GEOINT), geo-political use-cases, and supply chain risk management.
David’s OSINT recommendations:
• More people will find they’ve been utilizing open-source information and creating subsequent intelligence than previously thought, re-valuing OSINT as a sector to the upside, broadening and expanding what OSINT is.
• OSINT as an intelligence discipline will take share from GEOINT and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT).
• AI and automation will create an ‘information inequality’ where a premium is placed on the truth.
Nico’s OSINT recommendations:
• More and more people will understand that tradecraft in OSINT is so important.
• Understanding, or the lack of understanding, the tradecraft, will dictate how good or how bad any regulation or legislation will be surrounding OSINT.
• There will be more charlatans in the OSINT space.
Listen to the full podcast for all the guys’ book and podcast recommendations.
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