University of Illinois

Leetaru Provides Inside Look into CIA's Global Listening Service

Posted: Apr. 15, 2010

When the CIA wanted an inside look into its global listening service, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), it turned to GSLIS PhD student Kalev Leetaru.

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Leetaru, coordinator of information technology and research for the Cline Center on Democracy at the University of Illinois, prepared a statistical examination of unclassified FBIS material produced from July 1993 through July 2004. His article, "The INT for Cross-National Academic Research: The Scope of FBIS and BBC Open Source Media Coverage, 1979-2008," recently appeared in the CIA's publication, Studies in Intelligence (Volume 54, Number 1).

From the Cline Center:

The hidden work of the CIA's global listening service is now coming to light for the first time through research conducted by the Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois. The Cline Center is using FBIS data from the last 30 years to track the progress of democratization for every country in the world. One byproduct of this effort is the first-ever look at the structure of the CIA's open source intelligence network. The CIA itself found the work of such interest they published it in the March 2010 issue of their own journal, Studies in Intelligence.

For more information and to access Leetaru's article, visit the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence website.

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