-beginning stages-
-all feedback welcomed-
email: peopleoverprofits [at] re-configure.org
-How Do We Start A Citizens' Intelligence Network?
-The NYC Pilot Project
-Examples of Mobilization (civil rights era)
-Decentralizing Intelligence (article)
-Misc. Ideas


Currently we have the phone numbers 911 & 411 for emergency and basic directory information exchange as well as other numbers for highway emergency assistance such as dialing 77 if you are on I-495 in Washington D.C.

We also have people using the Internet who own telecommunications devices while at the same time, there are those who have telecommunications devices who have no access to the Internet.

A highly interesting scenario is to provide a service where callers can access the Internet and or open source intelligence services through the people who have the telecommunications devices during their times online where they are available to provide information and communications intelligence.

Those providing the service can do that from a workroom, the comforts of their own room, or sitting at a wireless café.

Imagine software for telecommunications devices that search for available human search engines to become employed to provide information and intelligence. A system can be developed to keep track of those who provided the service in
order to give them social currency credits and hard cash. The callers would be encouraged to give input or rate the service immediately following the exchange or at their leisure.

Historical Neighborhood Knowledge On Tap
It woud be of utmost value to have access to a neighborhoods entire history from the plot of land to its current status. Imagine a computerized infrastructure accessible through kiosk, mobile device, and Internet connection that holds neighborhood histories and allows for citizens to input their experiences, ideas, and voting powers into full effect, shaping the knowledge space and future of the community while at the same time redefining community.

An acquaintance of mine who is a highly respected intelligence professional mentioned "citizens intelligence network" in this Forbes article.

The Earth Intelligence Network is another step


How Do We Start A Citizens' Intelligence Network?

Knowledge of the neighborhoods, awareness of the concerns of citizens from direct experience and building a social network (one buidling at a time?)with a diverse number of citizens who want to exchange anything whether by email, phone, or in person, meeting at a bar, event or whatever. Bringing back the roots of Old American group meetings to discuss our concerns be it pub, town hall, Internet or phone.

Research prowess and powerful tools are needed to begin a build towards producing an empowered citizenship.

One tool I have found to be valueable is a "news hub" program I have a paid online subscription for called SiloBreaker. It organizes and presents news from over 8,000 sources in a way that provides me a more intelligent format to dig through multiple subjects internationally. It's a useful resource portal for open source intelligence gathering.

As SiloBreaker is evolved, I think it could eventually be developed into a huge community pool to exchange ideas, links, insights through individuals unique perspectives, and allowing for an online citizens' intelligence community to form. Then we can see how a public collective intelligence community can and could operate.

Another great resource is Secrecy News from the Federation of American Scientists.

Of course there are many resources and finding those that are currently best as far as you know and piece-mealing information is an obvious step towards forming a web of connections from such explorations and documenting them.

Forums of course can be key. There is a great network that is very diverse and attracts people with extraordinary experience and research-rich awareness that was started by the founder of eBay (Pierre Omidyar) called the Omidyar Network. I highly recommend registering (free) and taking a dive for those who want to explore some cutting edge community ideas with others who have visions and ambitions to seriously improve our interconnected systems. Another is the Well which is a paid subscription and has been around since 1985.

Building our social networks offline and online, meeting new people, sharing experience and ideas for the future can help to catalyze dialog and eventually collaboration if desired towards a more community driven direction. The age old basic equation of strength in numbers applies here but now the idea is the quantity of quality as opposed to sheer numbers.

That quality in community can then allow for that power to influence the areas we desire that influence to be applied to whether schools, government, or media.

A crude yet exciting example of the use of telecommunications for citizen information is this group that contacted me after reading this webpage, they are based in London --> "Directionless Enquiries"

Again, I refer you to the Forbes article if you missed it at the top.

NYC Pilot Project

The MTA strike and city government fiasco where the public was caught in the crossfire revealed the over-reliance we have on the MTA and city government for transportation.

City-wide, multi-borough "car pooling" (connection and resource pooling actually) would be an interesting pilot project not just for back-up but for easy access mobility where citizens meet new people and find relief from the tensions of fighting person and vehicular traffic during daily commutes. New connections can be formed, opening up new opportunities for what I call a redistribution of burdens.

We must be relieved of burdens at a street level if we are to climb towards resolving the much grander issues the city, state, and country face.

Connecting in various ways, "car pooling" being one of them, can make for a sharing of awareness, experience, knowledge, and visions for NYC's future. Massive car pooling is only a delivery system for the social currency that may be possible to develop a hyper-linking of people towards a hyper-linking of direct experience sharing towards redefining community.

As one of 3 co-founders, the Earth Intelligence Network is working towards bringing "public intelligence in the public interest" as a fuel and driver for the Games for Change movement which was spawned in NYC.

Pilot projects involving persons in the environment of an apartment building, small business, or public space to take incremental steps to test the concepts and resource capabilities (community technology beta testing) might be neccessary 1st steps.

Examples of Mobilization (carpooling in the civil rights era)

Ever since the strike this year by MTA and the NYC government battle with them, I have been thinking of alternative transport (other than bicycles).

I found this clip from an article of a great example of highly motivated resource mobilizing:

"During a 381 day transportation strike in Alabama, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) who elected Martin Luther King Jr. as president organized an elaborate “private taxi” plan with more than two hundred cars as a parallel transportation system, an enormous undertaking. Drivers (including a handful of sympathetic whites) picked up and dropped off blacks who needed rides at designated points. Black community activists organized fund-raisers to raise money for gas and car repairs to keep the carpool system going."


"Intelligent Citizens Networking," fed up with the local and federal.

Another example of highly motivated (through good reasons) intelligent citizens who know they cannot rely on "government officials" is the Citizens' 9/11 Omission Report

This is public collective intelligence in practice and they (and I) are making others aware of their work year by year. The more of this we have, the more energy it will take by opposition to ignore the brewing collective storm mobilizing and moving closer to the straw houses of the pigs and wizards of oz.

Again, I refer you to the Forbes article if you missed it at the top.

A crude yet exciting example of the use of telecommunications for citizen information is this group that contacted me after reading this webpage, they are based in London --> "Directionless Enquiries"

"Decentralizing Intelligence--Open Sourcing for Open Society
and the Dawn of The Citizens' Intelligence Network"

By Jason "JZ" Liszkiewicz

A Citizens' Intelligence Network has to be just that, a network/series
of meshed networks or as I have called them in my proposal, "visionary cells".
One part local, direct-community oriented and the other part international
virtual/online community based accessible also via mobile device.

One method is to wait for business and government developments to meet
some related criteria to be utilized that may meet some but not enough
standards that are related to empowering communities.

The other method which I prefer is to work towards guiding
developments into meeting a more community-empowering standard since
companies producing these developments have their own agendas.
"Community technologies" as I like to call them should be proposed
towards becoming constructed and guided by a democratic process
instead of us settling for the incremental developments that come with
common business practice.

The convergence of the desired direction of advancements from
community intelligence with business is what I am proposing since each
has their methods of innovating and both feed off one another but at
this point do not share a balance of power.

A Citizens' Intelligence Network needs an internationally inclusive
infrastructure. Getting people, services, hardware, and software
accessible to those who are without easy access to such valuable
resources and services is a key goal for Robert Steele and OSS.NET.

America has 911 & 411 services. Creating telecommunications services
for public intelligence would be an idea for the CIN that significantly
expands on the 911/411 services.

There are millions of donated computers for the harnessing of CPU's
for various medical research and supplying people working on projects
that require more computing power than their limited resources can
handle. Sharing from a CPU currency pool.

So I use that as an analogy for what a CIN could become. Millions of
people are on the Internet and they own phones and I think would be
willing to become employed to contribute to others' information needs
regardless of region.

To have at anyone's disposal a Mobile Internet phone card or a three
number service to access a Citzens' Intelligence Network to gain information
on anything via mobile device and track the exchange and pay the employed accordingly is a tremendous service and goes light years beyond the 411

Human search engines delivering intelligence to Mobile-Net users
and retaining mobile input from users that translates into
payment (social currency credits) for those who gave the service.

The goal being to get resources to needed locations faster whether
it's the resource of intelligence or material goods and services, and
all this relates to intelligence.

An amusing way to look at this is a 21st century version of a Hitch Hiker's
Guide to the Galaxy service which could evolve into a more
sophisticated hand held device that taps into the CIN resource
pool/database and providing access to persons to dialog with on the
intelligence provided.

We need to create a new marketplace for public intelligence
distribution or "communications intelligence" and what I call "mobile
democracy" which is the aftermath process of having millions of people
having easily accessible intelligence to then become empowered to have
direct democratic influence on policies when an infrastructure is
implemented to facilitate such input and use it like fuel for a new
democratic engine.


Misc. Ideas

+ Sharing information. Freeing information. Information can be replicated and broadcasted to affect billions. Open sourcing allows for more access to more knowledge to whoever wants access to it. It’s a freedom and usefulness like no other, providing far more opportunities for connections that generate new found insights to apply to our lives. This cannot happen in an information-hording society where groups lock away their insights to take advantage of sectors of the public and those who strictly work to get the upper hand on competition. The playing field gets a lot more interesting with open sourcing. And for me it becomes a matter of redefining power.

+ Millions of dollars are spent on filing for FOIA applications...paying to free information; interesting set of concepts.

+ The American administration doesn’t trust citizens, the NSA issue is an example. Free citizens are to be held in suspicion is the impression I am getting from people who have a lot of decision making power to shift culture with ease. So there is a dire need for empowering citizens to counter such pressures from a suspect governing body. This is an essential need at this point in America’s history.

A step towards this is less secrecy to hide behind; less national security excuses to hide behind and more personal responsibility to do what we think is best for this country instead of leaving it entirely to a defective voting system. CIN is about advancing America from a personal to community level.

+ All industries form networks as well as all NGO’s, non-profits, and volunteers and all are citizens. However there is a requirement that people be loyal to a particular group or company so time is limited to put energy into other areas of society. All groups will eventually affect each other in the long run so a kind of super-organism awareness I think is beneficial to having a more intelligent direction for the world overall.

+ Citizens of all regions share similar survival needs but as we know can have drastic differences in lifestyle and degrees of struggle. I think we benefit when we have access to drastically different and diverse perspectives of what people are going through and doing while we are doing what we are doing, all these simultaneous extremes are happening right now.


CIN is related to this presentation given January 18, 2006 in Washington D.C.

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