from the bond-dot-jamesbond-dot-com dept.
reporter writes "According to a startling report by the Wall Street Journal, the Internet has empowered ordinary people to be part-time intelligence officers, uncovering secrets like military facilities and prison camps across the landscape of North Korea. The report states, '[Curtis] Melvin is at the center of a dozen or so citizen snoops who have spent the past two years filling in the blanks on the map of one of the world's most secretive countries. Seeking clues in photos, news reports and eyewitness accounts, they affix labels to North Korean structures and landscapes captured by Google Earth, an online service that stitches satellite pictures into a virtual globe. The result is an annotated North Korea of rocket-launch sites, prison camps and elite palaces on white-sand beaches. "It's democratized intelligence," says Mr. Melvin. More than 35,000 people have downloaded Mr. Melvin's file, North Korea Uncovered. It has grown to include thousands of tags in categories such as "nuclear issues" (alleged reactors, missile storage), dams (more than 1,200 countrywide) and restaurants (47). Its Wikipedia approach to spying shows how Soviet-style secrecy is facing a new challenge from the Internet's power to unite a disparate community of busybodies.'"
"All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in. I'm glad they
are a snowman with protective rubber skin"
-- They Might Be Giants