by Alex Calvo
The purpose of this paper is to comment on one of the developments arising from the current riots in the United Kingdom, where a website has been set up so that the public can identify those involved and report them to the Police. The use of modern technology to identify insurgents could be a response to the lack of working censuses in many areas where stability operations are conducted, seen by some observers as a major weakness.
The central idea is to tell friend from foe, or in classical Maoist terminology, fish from the water, using some of the widely available tools which, on the other hand, seem to be used to spread the violence in the UK.
The use of a website to spread pictures of violent incidents and have the perpetrators identified by the population would be a way to plug a gap in police capabilities, since the British authorities are unlikely to have the necessary manpower and knowledge to do so on their own.
This is why we can talk of "decentralized intelligence collection and analysis."