April 21, 2012

PEOPLE POWER 2.0: How civilians helped win the Libyan information war. “Some information warriors set up their own operations. For Rida Benfayed, an orthopedic surgeon then based in Denver, getting online was the first priority when he reached his hometown of Tobruk, 290 miles east of Benghazi. ­Benfayed got hold of the city’s only two-way satellite Internet connection and started accepting hundreds of requests to connect on Skype. He organized his contacts into six categories: English media, Arabic media, medical, ground information, politicians, and intelligence. His contacts included ambassadors and doctors, journalists and freedom fighters. A source of high-grade military intelligence soon turned his ad hoc operation into a control room. . . . After about a hundred hours of work, Martin had 250 or so direct contacts in Libya and elsewhere. He created, in effect, a private intelligence network. Initially, he expected only “ambient” or background information, but the intelligence he gathered soon proved useful for both strategy and tactics.”

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