Modus Operandi, an intelligence company based in Florida, is creating a database to track terrorists and persons of interest. And, strangely enough, it looks like Facebook.
The updating on these profiles will be done by American intelligence-gathering officials, not the criminals themselves. But the question remains: Why Facebook?
Modus Operandi's chief scientist explains.
“An intelligence analyst in the world of military services is normally a very young person with little life experiences, limited technology skills,” Little said.
In other words, the company’s job is to find ways to present a plethora of data that will make it easy to analyze.
The short of the matter is, spreadsheets can be difficult to read. It's much harder to create a profile of terrorist from small boxes of information than it is to see a profile similar to Facebook.
“Sometimes you’re talking about spreadsheets with a couple hundred columns or tens of thousands of rows,” Little said. When taking into account the thousands of spreadsheets available to the military, sifting through the documents can easily become overwhelming.
Modus Operandi's proposed database will be similar to Wikipedia search functions and data display. It will also be much easier for analysts to find patterns in the data.
"The semantic wiki allows users to categorize posts, making searches across multiple topics easier and quicker. In contrast, the Wikipedia we’re familiar with, while also allowing for user input, relies on manual modification to stay up to date with topics that can often change, like top 10 lists or lists of organization leaders."
There is no word yet from Modus Operandi when the project will be completed.