Silicon Insider: The CIA Discovers the Blogosphere

In fact, it makes me a little nervous. As someone who spends a lot of time surfing the blogosphere, I know just how weird and wacky it can get out there -- and how hard it can be sometimes to separate the truth from the carefully crafted crazy. At least the mainstream media is predictable in its slant and its omissions.

Given the history of the CIA's judgment and its ability to separate fact from rumor and outright falsehood, I shudder to think what is in those Open Source Reports to the president. And the notion that the agency has developed a computer program to winnow out "reliable" blogs makes me shudder even more: Didn't they have that for reports of Soviet wheat production? And Saddam Hussein's nuclear program?

Still, in all, this new initiative by the CIA is yet one more reminder that, whatever the troglodytes say, we are in the midst of the greatest communications revolution since the rise of newspapers, perhaps even since Gutenberg. The age of blogs has arrived.

Meanwhile, let's pray our elected leaders put down those briefing documents once in a while and actually surf the blogosphere on their own.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michael S. Malone, once called the Boswell of Silicon Valley, is one of the nation's best-known technology writers. He has covered Silicon Valley and high-tech for more than 25 years, beginning with the San Jose Mercury News, as the nation's first daily high-tech reporter. His articles and editorials have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, the Economist and Fortune, and for two years he was a columnist for The New York Times. He was editor of Forbes ASAP, the world's largest-circulation business-tech magazine, at the height of the dot-com boom. Malone is best-known as the author or co-author of a dozen books, notably the best-selling "Virtual Corporation." Malone has also hosted three public-television interview series, and most recently co-produced the celebrated PBS miniseries on social entrepreneurs, "The New Heroes." He has been the "Silicon Insider" columnist since 2000.

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