TIME has a new article out on the use of Web 2.0 tools by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Apparently Intellipedia, a classified version of Wikipedia, has been “transforming the way U.S. spy agencies handle top-secret information by fostering collaboration across Washington and around the world.”
Here’s what I think is the money quote from the article:
The first time chlorine was used in an improvised explosive device in Iraq, someone created a wiki page asking what intelligence officers and others in the field should do to collect evidence of the usage. "Twenty-three people at 18 or 19 locations around the world chimed in on this thing, and we got a perfectly serviceable set of instructions in two days," says Tom Fingar, who headed the National Intelligence Council from 2005 to 2008. "Nobody called a meeting, there was no elaborate 'Gotta go back and check with Mom to see if this is the view of my organization.' "
Intellipedia now consists of 900,000 pages, has about 100,000 users, and receives around 5,000 page edits a day. Hey, if the deeply paranoid folks at the CIA can do this Web 2.0 stuff, can’t schools?
I imagine if the CIA can pull it off so can we. Lately I keep running into the same obstacle while pushing for change. The argument goes, “With all this student publishing on the web and collaboration with wikis etc aren’t we concerned someone from outside could destroy it or something bad could happen.” I go through my usual rant about setting options and then go into my bigger theory that people who hoist this argument usually are lazy and just don’t want to do anything different. After all they say chalk and lectures did it for their parents so it should work now as well. I’ll let them know even the FED is now involved.