The bottom-up approach the FBI has used to identify, capture and find evidence against January 6th Capitol Rioters can and should be used by activists and organizations at all levels.
The FBI has identified or arrested over 700 participants in the attack on the the US Capitol. The way they've identified many of them is very bottom-up. The Huffpost did this article, The FBI's Secret Weapon In The Capitol Attack Manhunt. which provided some fascinating details.
Basically, a network of people assembled a communication system they used to identify suspects, clues, tips that were of interest and value to the FBI.
Capitol riot defendant Robert Reeder leaves the federal courthouse after 'sedition hunters' surface The Justice Department says it will now ask for 6 months behind bars for Robert Reeder, of Maryland, in light of new video ...
(Image by YouTube, Channel: WUSA9) Details DMCA
At least some of them go by the moniker "Sedition Hunters".
Here's a bit of what the Huffpost article reports.
"The sleuths have a wealth of information that the broader public won't learn for months. They know that two suspects currently on the FBI's website are related to defendants who have already been charged with lesser offenses in the Capitol riot. They know that someone else on the FBI list died suddenly a few months ago. They know that another suspected participant in the Jan. 6 attack has been arrested in connection with a long-unsolved murder. And they've compiled information that likely will never land in an FBI case: like the fact that there were more than 50 dogs among the mob on Jan. 6.
The FBI's Capitol riot investigation was pretty chaotic in the early days as the bureau attempted to separate the wheat from the chaff amid hundreds of thousands of tips from the public. It could be difficult for investigators with rock-solid tips to get the bureau's attention.
But there's been a shift as the investigation has progressed. Citizen investigators who previously had to submit their tips through forms on the FBI's website now either have individual relationships with FBI special agents or at least know someone who can ensure the information gets into the right hands. If they turn up relevant information about a defendant who has already been charged " say, evidence of a misdemeanor defendant assaulting an officer, or a defendant on pretrial release violating the conditions of their release " sleuths have reached out to federal prosecutors directly.
Their meticulously compiled dossiers are so in-depth that in some cases they effectively ghostwrote FBI affidavits, laying out bulletproof cases against Capitol rioters based on open-source intelligence alone. Their crowdsourced Capitol maps and catchy nicknames for Jan. 6 rioters have shown up in Justice Department filings time and time again. Many of the sleuths are still astonished at the effect they're having in the largest FBI investigation in the bureau's history."
This shows the bottom-up power and potential of the people. I wonder how much they could do partly instead of and partly in cooperation with the FBI.
And it inspires me to envision similar collective networks of people participating in all kinds of efforts to investigate things, actions, organizations and people. I'm wondering if there's website software out there that could optimize sharing and archiving of information. And why not pay the people who contribute to the production of useful results. The FBI probably has some.
The same approach could be used to:
- help solve criminal investigations, help police in a plethora of ways.
- investigate every billionaire, every high ticket funder of dastardly causes.
- help innocent people in prison.
- find additional information and clues for treatment of different diseases.
- Identify and find new injustices.
- Analyze systems and relationships, like State Department, economic, ecological, scientific and political stuff.
Top-down-thinking-addicted people might be uncomfortable with the idea of sharing information. This is not for everyone, though it should be.
There ought to be a way to monetize people's contributions for some of the networks. That means contributors in the collective intelligence network would get money and beneficiaries should pay. The USA spent about $85 billion a year for National and Military intelligence. It would be smart to start spending some money on bottom-up investigative networks. It would be reasonable to see them budget at least 10% of the Intelligence budget, about $10 billion.
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).