CYBEREYE

The spooks have an acronym for it

Intellipedia is catching on, as a growing catalog of acronyms shows — but not to you

It’s not for your eyes, but Intellipedia is catching on with its intended audience.

The wiki, a suite of Web 2.0 tools for the intelligence community hosted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, launched in 2006 as a way to improve collaboration among the notoriously turf-conscious agencies charged with overseeing, well, everything that goes on in the world. It has grown into a resource that intelligence analysts and advisers rely on.

The path to acceptance has been long, said Don Burke, the CIA’s Intellipedia doyen. Yes, the CIA has a doyen. “It doesn’t happen over night,” he said. “One of the biggest challenges was getting people to have the courage to edit” material that appeared on the site.

So Burke created a 26-page list of acronyms used within intelligence agencies and invited users to correct and add to it. The challenge was a success, probably beyond Burke’s imagination. The glossary has grown to more than 700 pages. I’d like to cite a few of them here, but that information is available strictly on a need-to-know basis.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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