A Memorial Day Message from The Lint Center

This Memorial Day, the Lint Center honors those American’s who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. Originally recognized at “Decoration Day,” this commemoration dates back to 1868 where people across the nation recognized the fallen from the Civil War. It’s original date of May 30th was chosen because it was not on the anniversary of any Civil War battle and was later moved to the last Monday of May to provide a three-day weekend for federal employees. Although many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy this long holiday weekend, let us not lose focus on what this day is about. Today is about taking the time to reflect and honor those heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our great nation. We must never forget them or their families.

Lint Center and IAFIE Award $1000 Scholarship to Aspiring Intelligence Professional

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit dedicated to fostering the educational development of the next generation of America’s Counterintelligence and National Security professionals, and the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE), the leading international organization for Intelligence Education, today announced the Summer 2016 International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship award winner.

The winner, who for security purposes is known only as “WGBIII,” has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship to continue his pursuit of a career in intelligence and national Security. WGBIII was awarded the scholarship based on his embodiment of the principles forwarded by the Lint Center and IAFIE.

“IAFIE is delighted to announce the winner of the Summer 2016 International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship,” said Dr. Larry Valero, President of IAFIE. “WGBIII exemplifies the type of promising individuals we aim to assist through our scholarship initiatives—passion, desire to serve, strong moral fiber and dedication to improving national security.”

WGBIII is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice at Angelo State University (ASU). He holds a Master of Securities Studies, Intelligence and Analysis from ASU and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Thomas Edison State College. He plans to pursue a PhD and teach Security Studies and Intelligence at the conclusion of his intelligence career.

WGBIII has interned with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Law Enforcement Center and Georgetown University Law Criminal Justice Center. He also participated in the U.S. Naval Cadet Corps program where he developed a deep appreciation for American founding principles and military history.

“I am very grateful to both IAFIE and the Lint Center for the scholarship,” WGBIII said. “As a young professional, it means so much to be honored with this award. The scholarship will help defray the financial costs of my educational pathway and I am excited to have the privilege of learning from seasoned veterans in the field through the mentorship program.”

The Summer 2016 International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship was established by the Lint Center to assist talented individuals desiring to make a career in the intelligence field. The scholarship forwards the Lint Center’s shared mission with IAFIE of empowering and supporting emerging national security leaders.

“WGBIII is the first individual to receive the International Association for Intelligence Education Scholarship,” said James R. Lint, CEO at the Lint Center. “The Lint Center and IAFIE have been at the forefront of supporting vitally important careers in intelligence through education and scholarship opportunities. WGBIII clearly demonstrates the core qualities essential in the next generation of emerging leaders which the Lint Center aims to empower through this scholarship.”

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

About the International Association for Intelligence Education:

The International Associated for Intelligence Education is the leading international organization for Intelligence Education. The Association was formed in June 2004 as a result of a gathering of sixty plus intelligence studies trainers and educators at the Sixth Annual International Colloquium on Intelligence at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. The mission of the Association is to advance research, knowledge and professional development in intelligence education. For more information, please visit www.iafie.org.

Columbia University Undergrad Receives Prestigious Lint Center Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies Announces Summer 2016 Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced the award of the Summer 2016 Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship.

Mr. Andrew Ertl, an undergrad at Columbia University in New York, was awarded the Lint Center’s Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship for his work in relation to global affairs.

Mr. Ertl’s personal experience in the Marine Corps saw him traveling to US embassies abroad allowing him to develop a unique perspective on international relations. While studying at Colombia University, he and his classmates were selected to visit Japan to improve cross-cultural ties between future American and Japanese leaders. Mr. Ertl hopes to graduate this year and continue his educational and professional development by pursuing graduate studies.

“I couldn’t be more thankful to Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint for their encouragement and support,” remarked Mr. Ertl. “But like former Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship winner and current Lint Center Vice President, Tim Coleman says, ‘the check was nice, but the contacts and mentoring are worth much more than the check, many times over.’”

Mr Ertl added, “The Lint Center for National Security Studies operates under the core values of service, scholarship, and stewardship, values that are very similar to the Marine Corps’ values of honor, courage, and commitment.  Both intersect and represent how we should live our lives in service to others. It is my desire to continue serving the country that has given me so much.  It is an honor, and I am deeply humbled to be able to do so while affiliated with the Lint Center for National Security Studies.  “

“We have not had many Marines apply,” stated Mr, James Lint, Chairman of the Lint Center. “Mr. Andrew Ertl shows that Marines still make well-rounded citizens and have the potential to further their expertise in the intelligence community. His military experience and multiple tours overseas in the Embassy Marine program speaks to his global perspective. His desire to continue on from his Marine career to his studies in Columbia University shows persistence – a fine trait for our national security workers.”

Dr. Anna H. Lint, Co-Founder of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, stated: “Languages skills for those representing the US government and for those employed in the intelligence community are essential. Mr. Ertl demonstrates these abilities with his German aptitude at Columbia University. As it has been shocking to see the lack of foreign communicative skills of government workers during my many years overseas, it is great to see this award going to an individual with foreign-language and foreign-travel skills and experience.”

Lint Center scholarships are intended for individuals who will strive to make our world a better place and with the Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship we recognize that Mr. Ertl is a pioneer for positive change,” added Mr. Tim Coleman, the Vice President of the Lint Center.

The Jim and Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship was created to help further the education and career development of individuals interested in international affairs, counterintelligence, and national security. “Through the generosity of Jim and Anna, this new scholarship initiative will strengthen and reaffirm the importance of identifying potential National Security workers who demonstrate a sincere commitment to preserving American security,” said Ms. Kay Lee Nicholas, Executive Board Member, Lint Center for National Security Studies. “This scholarship will support individuals who clearly demonstrate a propensity to serve, a desire to expand their scholarly skills in cross-cultural studies, and who offer creative solutions to today’s great security challenges in the global context in which national security leaders operate.”

This press release was prepared by Lint Center volunteer, Zarek Shaikh.

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization awards award merit-based scholarships and mentoring programs for students pursuing careers in national service with a particular focus on counterintelligence, military intelligence, national security and cross-cultural studies. The Center is Veteran and minority operated and managed. It awards scholarships semi-annually in both January and July. For more information, please visit https://www.lintcenter.org/.

Lint Center Announces Partnership with Spies of Washington Tour

TS_PicLint Center Announces Partnership with Spies of Washington Tour 

Former Air Force Intelligence Officer donates spy tours to emerging leaders in the National Security Field

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 25, 2015 – The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced its newest corporate sponsor, Carol S. Bessette, Founder of Spies of Washington Tour, a D.C. based tour organization focused on providing the most comprehensive tours of real-world spying and espionage intrigue.

Recipients of Lint Center scholarships will now have the opportunity to attend walking-tours at a leisurely pace to learn about espionage and intelligence in the nation’s capital with Ms. Bessette as a personal tour guide through Spies of Washington Tour. Ms. Bessette will donate free tours that highlight the over 200-year history of Intelligence and Counterintelligence in the Washington, D.C. area.


Read more

Is Ebola a Matter of National Security?

hrs_20141025-A-SR101-3772The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has caused tremendous fear across the globe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have now been 10,141 confirmed cases that have resulted in 4,922 deaths worldwide as of October 24, 2014.

The majority of the cases are confined to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone but travel-associated cases have been transmitted to Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Spain, and the United States. Although there has not been a large outbreak in the United States our federal government has approached the possibility with great stress that any potential transmission of the disease is a matter of national security.

The first case in the United States was diagnosed on September 30, 2014 in Dallas, Texas on a patient that had recently traveled to Liberia. Eric Duncan, now known as ‘index patient’, passed away on October 8, 2014 as the first patient to have contracted the disease overseas but to pass away in the United States. The head of the CDC, Thomas Friedan, has been urging hospitals nation wide to test for Ebola when patients come in displaying symptoms of the disease and a wary travel history (Gambino, 2014).


The facts of the Ebola disease are critical to be mindful of due to the importance of raising awareness of risk factors in order to prevent transmission of infected persons to others. According to the World Health Organization, the EVD first appeared in Africa almost 40 years ago and maintains a fatality rate of around 50%. The high fatality rate is only one scary statistic for a disease that has the power to be easily transmitted. Symptoms of the Ebola virus consist of fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes among others. In order to be properly diagnosed there has to be confirmation via laboratory testing that can take up to 48 hours and is considered a very high biohazard risk for all those involved in the process.

White House Efforts

There has not been an overwhelmingly effort from countries worldwide to help aide countries that have been affected. The Red Cross has over 5,000 volunteers trained to combat the EVD but there has to be more involvement on the global level in order to help contain the most deadly outbreak of EVD in history.

President Obama commented to CNN reporter, Betsy Klein that, “If we don’t make the effort now, and this spreads not just through Africa but other parts of the world, there’s the prospect that the virus mutates. And then it could be a serious danger to the United States.”

President Obama has stated from the beginning of the outbreak that he considers this a top national security priority and that this is not a matter of charity but a humanitarian effort to protect the safety of the United States. Earlier this month, efforts to address the EVD outbreak were to use an all-hands-on-deck approach including efforts from public health, the White House, the Department of Defense, and America’s prestigious science teams in controlling the outbreak. Recently, states have been implementing their own 21-day quarantine efforts including Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, and even Maryland to help monitor the state and federal health department efforts (the State of Maine having a recent and countervailing lower court ruling).

Military Efforts

The spread of a deadly disease is most certainly a concern for national security and a feasible option to combat EVD is to involve U.S. military resources. There is now a 30-person team who has been specifically trained as an Ebola response team to protect health care workers being quarantined. The Ebola response team can be ready for deployment in 72 hours’ notice and must be approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel before acting on any orders.

The team has been trained in infection control, protective equipment, and detection. The team has received training at the Education, Training and Simulation Department of the San Antonio Military Medical Center. Command surgeon Air Force Col. John J. DeGoes and Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr. have conducted the training and creation of this specialized team not only to fight Ebola but will also be used a precedent for future medical response teams on behalf of the DOD, Health and Human Services, Dept. of Homeland Security and other military branches. The military is currently deploying 4,000 personnel to West Africa to assist with the outbreak but the response team will only be used domestically if requested by the Centers for Disease Control but only with orders from the DoD.

Possibility of Bio-Terrorism

The level of potential terror risk posed by Ebola as a biological weapon has brought concern to the Department of Defense. The outbreak in West Africa has been occurring in a conflict driven zone occupied by terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram. The U.S. invested $140 million back in 2010 in a company called Tekmira to develop cures for the virus and continues to still get funding from the DoD to this day (Noack, 2014).

EVD is not believed at this time to be used as a bio-terror agent but possibilities are endless with today’s terrorist organizations. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases focuses on “protecting the Warfighter from emerging, genetically being altered, and unknown biological threats” as its mission in battling bio-terrorism. The DoD invests in research to protect against both intentional use and natural exposure of diseases that can impact not only Americans but also humans worldwide. There are to many intricate and scientific details that would be required to handle EVD in order to turn into a bio-terror weapon but the funding for research now may help eliminate the possibility in the future.

What’s in Store for the Future?

The Pentagon has also emphasized the relevance of EVD being a national security matter and being prepared domestically to control the disease is critical before being able to provide aide globally. President Obama has admitted that the United States must play a major role in combating Ebola in other infected countries but this is a global problem, which requires intervention from other national governments other than the United States. The high crisis magnitude of the outbreak needs U.S. intervention but the United Nations needs to require more involvement from others in the aide process. As the American public continues to remain in a state of palpable apprehension over the EVD there has to be consideration of the turmoil that is occurring in West Africa as well. President Obama’s emphasis on providing aide to regions that have massive EVD outbreak only helps to prevent future national security threats that could potentially occur in America if the disease is not contained overseas.

About the Author:

Untitled1Brittany Walter is a Marketing Coordinator at the Lint Center for National Security Studies. She is also currently a graduate student enrolled in the Global Affairs and Human Security Program at the University of Baltimore. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Washington College with a minor in Justice, Law, and Society. After graduating in the spring of 2015 she plans on enlisting in the United States Navy as a Cryptologic Technician Interpreter. She hopes to find a career in the intelligence and national security community in her future utilizing her education and time volunteering working for the Lint Center for National Security Studies.


  1. Cases of Ebola Diagnosed in the United States. (2014, October 25). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-a…
  2. Fantz, A., & Ellis, R. (1970, January 1). Nurse ordered released in New Jersey; boy under Ebola evaluation in New York. CNN. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/27/health/us-ebola/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
  3. Gambino, L. (2014, October 6). Dallas Ebola Patient. The Guardian. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/06/nbc-photojournalist-diagnosed-ebola-nebraska
  4. Harper, D. (2014, October 6). Obama: Ebola ‘A Top National Security Priority’. The Weekly Standard. Retrieved October 28, 2014, from http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-ebola-to…
  5. Klein, B., Castillo, M., & Botelho contributed to this report. (1970, January 1). Ebola is a ‘national security priority,’ Obama says. CNN. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/07/politics/ebola-natio…
  6. Noack, R. (2014, August 5). Why Ebola worries the Defense Department. Washington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/08/05/why-ebola-worries-defense-department/
  7. West Africa: Ebola Outbreak. (n.d.). Ebola Outbreak. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.redcross.org/ebolaoutbreak

Photo Credit:

1) Courtesy of the US Department of Defense: Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) James Lawler, center, an infectious disease physician, talks to team members during a training event at the San Antonio Military Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Oct. 25, 2014. The group is part of a 30-member DoD team that could be called on to respond to new cases of Ebola in the United States. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. Source: http://www.defense.gov/DODCMSShare/NewsStoryPhoto/2014-10/scr_20141025-A-SR101-3772.JPG

2) Courtesy of the US Department of Defense: USG Response to Ebola Outbreak, Source: http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2014/1014_ebola/

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect official policy or the position of the Department of Defense or any other department or agency within the US Government. The opinions expressed by Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Lint Center Bloggers. 

Scholarship Winner Essay: Joey Kirshy

580px-Writing_star.svgIn the spirit of the Lint Center’s aim to progress the next generation of National Security with support for well-rounded individuals, we are proud to present the Mid-Year 2012 Scholarship Winner essays to Lint Center affiliates.

The Intelligence Community: Sharing for Security

National Security threats have plagued the United States since our independence from British rule. As a nation, we have discovered ways to ensure the safety of our citizens, freedoms, and democracy.  The establishment of myriad intelligence and law enforcement agencies has met the challenges that arise as a result of our democratic growth and development. These agencies have been organized to target and attack national security threats, both foreign and domestic.  The public perception of national security threats are often associated with a range of issues, from narcotics smuggling, weapons, and human trafficking to domestic and foreign terror attacks.

As technology advances new threats emerge. Advanced technology has become an increasingly prevalent tool for radical/extremist groups to carry out threats against the US. With the world’s increasing reliance on technology, so too has the US’s reliance on technology for the operation of defense systems, natural resources management, and economic development. Disconcertedly, the heavy reliance on technology makes infrastructure itself susceptible to corruption and terror attacks from radical/extremist organizations. This vector poses a very viable threat to national security, one that requires a specific skill set to develop effective solutions to ongoing threats.

Until recently most agencies defended their targeted national security issues independently without much interest in sharing intelligence with the rest of the law enforcement and intelligence community. These agencies run operations targeting these threats independently, meanwhile, other agencies may be conducting identical operations and targeting the same threats. Thus, both agencies are conducting and developing their own intelligence and investigative leads, without sharing this crucial information with the other agency. Bridging these communication gaps will help solidify a cohesive investigation to target these threats and the investment in collaborative task forces will better defend the nation from multiple national security threats stemming from radical/extremist groups.

Most organizations, like the Sinaloa Cartel, do not solely threaten the US on one front. The Sinaloa Cartel’s illicit schemes encompass multiple national security issues in order to accomplish their overall goals. Though one of the most dangerous cartels in Mexico, they are still not considered a terrorist organization because their motives are financially-based, however, their actions still plague national security. In order to smuggle drugs into the US and secure power within Mexico, the Sinaloa Cartel must traffic humans, narcotics, weapons, and money to and from Mexico. The aforementioned crimes are national security issues investigated independently by numerous agencies from the FBI, ATF, DEA, Border Patrol, ICE Homeland Security Investigations to other state and local Law enforcement agencies. Greater collaborative or joint task forces could help bridge the intelligence and communications gap between agencies, as well as assist with jurisdictional concerns.

Many agencies also face jurisdictional dilemmas involving the investigation and prosecution of subjects and their illicit activity.  With collaborative efforts agencies like the Tucson Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations can better use their unique resources to develop a better intelligence picture which can lead to successful investigations charging subjects on a multi-jurisdictional level.  Partnering the Border Patrol with ATF can assist with the investigating and prosecuting of the smuggling of humans and weapons, meanwhile partnering with the FBI can bridge intelligence gaps for potential terror threats.

These partnerships can also encourage resource collaboration. The violence and the illicit activity along the southwest border far surpass the rest of the country.  However, smaller agencies have not seen an increase in manpower in relation to the rising crime rates. Further, the majority of federal investigative agencies do not have the law enforcement personnel or the intelligence and enforcement resources needed to conduct the most comprehensive investigations. Larger agencies, like the Border Patrol and some State agencies, can provide the necessary resources needed to keep up with the larger more sophisticated organizations. Thus, combining these resources can enhance the ability for all law enforcement agencies to combat national security threats.

Collaborative or joint task forces are becoming and will be the most proficient way to conduct law enforcement operations in the future. In addition to joint task forces, many agencies within the law enforcement community are establishing a new collaborative effort in intelligence fusions centers.  A fusion center’s sole purpose is to share resources and de-conflict amongst partnering agencies. De-confliction conveys to investigative agencies that their investigations are not being pursued by other agencies.

kirshyUltimately, it is the goal of every agency is to ensure that the freedoms, safety, and democracy for all US citizens are preserved and protected against national security threats, and simply, this can be most effectively combatted through the means of collaboration.

To read about Joey Kirshy, the Lint Center’s Mid-Year 2012 Frank and Virginia Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship Winner, please visit our Scholarship Winners page.

Military Tourism: MiGs, Tanks, and Bugs…Oh My!

800px-Soviet_MiG-29_DF-ST-99-04977According to CNN International, the quality of a unique military experience has long characterized tourism in Southeast Asia and parts of Eastern Europe. A patently unique military experience has usually also been illicit, however. Legal programs to provide camera-clickers in camo to be keep-the-receipt-for-return troopers for a day, though, have emerged in the past decade in all corners of the world.

The fall of the Soviet Union garnered both the great poverty of the Russian Federation and Russian ingenuity. According to World Tourism Rankings, the closest Russia has gotten to becoming a top tourist country was a 10th place ranking in 2007 for international tourist arrivals, it is not for lack of giving it the good ol’ “universitet” try [i]. In spite of its statistically unimpressive metrics, Russian components have developed a thriving military tourism complex.

Among their military tourism exploits, Russia boasts a range of military tourism offerings. From being a soldier for a day (“you will be able to get [sic] the skills to protect yourself during the radiation, chemical, and biological attack [sic]”) to tank rides to being a passenger to a master Russian pilot “performing his aerobatics,” or encountering the future in space travel in, “Space Training for the Future Cosmonaut in a MiG-29,” being a soldier for a day for play, while not inexpensive, can quench the spirit of any curious civilian [ii].

800px-Giant_water_bugs_on_plateSimilarly notable is Thailand’s bustling and relatively newly legal military tourism offerings. Since 1997, the Royal Thai Army has increasingly been working with the National Tourism Authority (of Thailand) to legally harness the greatly profitable military tourism industry with more than 20% of the bases in Thailand now running tourism programs.

For the committed military tourist, several bases teach jungle survival techniques, including a week-long course training tourists on Thai Army know-how, “such as knowing which bugs are safe to eat and how to kill a snake and drink its blood” [iii]. Like the Russian industry, tourists in Thailand may also ride and drive in a tank and fly in a vintage military plane (though neither seem to be as brazenly exhilarating as the Russian offerings).

To learn more about “Military Tourism” around the world please visit:

[i] Most Visited Countries – Top Ranking Countries – World Tourism Rankings

[ii] MiG Fighter jets for tourist flights: MiG planes, russian fighters, military jets. Fly in modern combat aircraft.

[iii] Military tourism: Where to shoot guns and ride tanks in Thailand #2 | CNNGo.com

Facebook Espionage: Why “What’s on Your Mind?” Isn’t Innocuous

“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders.” -Ronald Reagan

Social-networkFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest, LinkedIn. The personal information available to the public about the general public is one thing, however, information available about those in national security positions—military personnel, government officials, other high-ranking persons with access, is a completely different situation and concern.

Twenty or thirty years ago building a comprehensive profile of someone of interest, their likes, age, name, address, contact information, was a job for Human Intelligence personnel  (HUMINT) and investigative experts. In an age when twenty-three of twenty-four major federal agencies are on Facebook (Marks, Nextgov) and nearly 700 million computer users and 250 million active smartphone Facebook users exist (howmanyarethere), public profiles become less social networking and more cyber espionage databanks.

State-Sponsored and Suspicious Security

Collating information mined from social networking sites is a profitable business for data brokers. Brokers create social communication databanks that paint a nuanced picture of a person’s personal and social profile to net coveted advertising dollars. In the same vein, state-sponsored spies and hackers can create virtual profiles of important figures with access, figures whose statuses, network of friends, pictures, and comments could supplement a standard intelligence or economic espionage dossier.

Facebook Statuses, Twitter updates, or any number of other seemingly innocuous musings, that relay either the timing, location, or the nature of a certain user are extremely revealing and continue to bear greater scrutiny by security and privacy experts. Often, devices with geo-location capabilities signal the area or city of a user on tagged posts or statuses. This operational security hole has become so prevalent that the US Army has released guides on how to protect against this sort of breach.

BlackhatThe operational security breaches are further intensified with Facebook’s “Timeline” option, where the actions of each user are organized down to the month that the action occurred. To this end, state-sponsored espionage efforts may result in clear pictures of organizational structures within businesses, associates of national security personnel, and ways to infiltrate or blackmail important users or networks.

The so-what point of the ability to develop profiles via social networks is layered within the context of other telling personal information that a state sponsored entity, general malefactor, or busy-body, may already know. For example, certain career or job fairs, require a stated level of security clearance to be out in the open, readily visible for those in attendance. Being able to connect a security clearance, regardless of the level, with other identifying personal information derived easily from social networks and network applications, from hobbies to network connections, to place of residence, puts that individual, their family and friends, their organization, contacts within that organization, and the entire affiliated mission at a level of risk. There is not a 100% probability of getting approached by hostile HUMINT operatives if the information is out, but this increases the possibility.

Security Not Applicable

The controversy surrounding Facebook’s privacy is not new, and Facebook has implemented numerous privacy measures to combat those weaknesses. However, the wave of for-pay and free applications that users send each other opens up new security holes for both Facebook users and their web of friends. These applications often ask for detailed information that would make for a telling personal profile of the user. Further, these applications not only ask for the requested users information, but also after allowed into that users network, are able to mine information from their friends’ profiles and friends of friends. While Facebook has many technical implementations in place to prevent direct information mining, these applications also allow a backdoor route for data gathering companies, like Google, to collect a user’s information.

Cyber Awareness

The dangers of social networking are ever-present for those who have information to secure. Social networking casts a large shadow and a wide net, one that can haunt irreparably, and now, has seemingly endless breaches: from the known fissures in smartphone security to third-party applications as hidden data-mines to the nature and location of statuses double-crossing their users.

Net security is being aware of what you put on the web. If you are the senior dispatcher for city waste management, you probably are not at a high risk of your data being hunted. However, if you are the calendar scheduler of the President of the United States, you are probably at a high risk of hostile HUMINT operatives attempting to get your information. The game is probability and possibility. We are all targets, the scope is different based on our jobs, actions, and risk.

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers.

About the Authors:

Brittany Minder received her BA in International Relations from Stanford University and she serves as the Lint Center’s Public & External Affairs Associate.

Tim Coleman serves as the Center’s Director of Communications.


  1. Marks, Joseph. “All major federal agencies now using Twitter and Youtube.”
  2. HowManyAreThere?
  3. image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ae/Social-network.png
  4. Image Source: Wikimedia, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Blackhat.png

Lint Center Announces the Winner of the 2012 US Army Counterintelligence Special Agent, Staff SGT. Richard Eaton JR. Memorial Scholarship

Lint Center for National Security Studies Awards Scholarship to Intelligence and National Security Studies Graduate Student and University of Texas at El Paso “Students in Intelligence and National Security Group” Co-founder, Miguel Ibarra

ibarraThe Lint Center, a non-profit charity, focused on supporting the educational pursuits of the next generation of America’s Counterintelligence and National Security Workers, today formally announced Miguel Ibarra was awarded the Special Agent/SSG Richard S. Eaton Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship award aims to support undergraduate and post-graduate educational pursuits of scholars interested in National Security.

Lint Center scholarship winners are chosen on various grounds but are all well-rounded individuals whom the scholarship namesake would be or would have been proud to be represented by. They must have soaring letters of recommendation, a good transcript, a pointed essay on Counterintelligence or National Security, and a personal essay that introduces the applicant-winner to the Scholarship Board. Most of all, the scholarship winners must possess a presence of being that undoubtedly epitomizes one of a future National Security professional: a potential for leadership, integrity of character, and clear determination.

“I am greatly honored the Lint Center found me to be a deserving recipient of this prestigious award,” said Miguel Ibarra, a University of Texas at El Paso graduate student. “The scholarship will further enable me to continue my studies in the field of Intelligence studies. It will also help me to build a strong relationship with an experienced mentor. I look forward to one day following in the footsteps of heroes, like U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent, Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., who performed an exceptional service to our nation.”

Sharon Noble Eaton, Staff Sgt. Richard Eaton Jr.’s mother, stated, “Rick was a well-loved soldier and son. His brothers and sisters in arms still describe him as a consummate counterintelligence professional.  My hope has always been that his mission of service lives on in this Lint Center scholarship. I find Mr. Ibarra to be a candidate that Rick would have been proud to know.  His scholastic achievements — a double major in Aerospace Engineering and Government, and current graduate study, an MS in Intelligence and National Security Studies — and dedication indicate that he will make impressive contributions to the future security of our country.”

“The Lint Center is delighted to award the 2012 Richard S. Eaton Jr. Memorial Scholarship to Mr. Ibarra,” said Mr. James Lint, Chairman and CEO of the Lint Center. “The Center and the Scholarship Review Committee found Mr. Ibarra’s application and dedication to the betterment of Intelligence studies to be directly related to the mission and spirit of the Lint Center. Mr. Ibarra’s passion and willingness to personally invest in both himself and in this nation is apparent and laudable. The Lint Center looks forward to working with Mr. Ibarra and helping him to advance his knowledge and career in the area of Intelligence.”

Due to the generosity and continued support of the world’s leading private intelligence company, Strategic Forecasting, Inc., Mr. Ibarra will also receive a one-year subscription to Stratfor’s Subscription Service which includes industry leading intelligence reports providing situational awareness, geopolitical analysis, and analytically rigorous forecasting.

About Stratfor:

Stratfor provides individuals and corporations with breaking intelligence, in-depth analysis, assessments and forecasts on global political, economic, security, and public policy issues. Through its unrivaled blend of strategic and tactical expertise, Stratfor helps clients protect their assets, diminish risk, and increase opportunities to compete in the global market. Stratfor’s services include free intelligence reports, subscription-based access, and confidential consulting. For more information, please visit www.stratfor.com.

About the Richard S. Eaton Jr. 2012 Memorial Scholarship:

The Richard S. Eaton Jr. Scholarship was established in honor of Staff Sgt. Richard Eaton, a United States Army Counterintelligence Special Agent and Bronze Star recipient who died in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on August 12, 2003.

Mr. Lint, describes Special Agent Eaton as, “a Counterintelligence Agent whose exemplary achievements during his career act as a testament to the character, conviction, and courage of those who continue to serve this nation. He lived all the life he had. The Lint Center is committed to ensuring Rick’s deeds, personal example, and noble heroism are both honored and memorialized.”

The following is a link for a more detailed description of the Counterintelligence Special Agent Richard S. Eaton Memorial Jr. scholarship: https://www.lintcenter.org/2009/Eaton.htm.

About Miguel Ibarra:

Miguel Angel Ibarra is a native of El Paso, Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, a Bachelor of Arts in Government, and an Undergraduate Certificate in Business Foundations at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). While at UT, he was named the Ronald E. McNair Scholar, an award for underrepresented minorities with academic potential in Graduate studies.

Currently, Ibarra is pursuing a Master of Science in Intelligence and National Security Studies with a concentration in Geographic Information Systems at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). He is one of the founding members and the current Vice President of the Students in Intelligence and National Security organization at UTEP.

In addition to the Lint Center scholarship award, Mr. Ibarra was recently awarded the National Military Intelligence Foundation Scholarship from the National Military Intelligence Association. He has also earned the distinction of being named an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence Scholar.

Ibarra works as a Research Assistant at the International Association for Intelligence Education and has been selected for an internship at the Department of Homeland Security.

To read his full biography and winning essay, please visit: https://www.lintcenter.org/Winners/Jan12/PR-ibarra.htm

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization created to award merit-based scholarships for Counterintelligence and National Security Workers, their children and scholars, and to advance the study of National Security, cross-cultural studies, and global understanding. The Center, an IRS approved charity, is Veteran and minority operated and managed. For more information and to view details regarding semi-annual scholarship opportunities, please visit www.LintCenter.org.

– See more at: http://www.lintcenter.info/blog/entry/3021703/lint-center-announces-the-winner-of-the-2012-us-army-counterintelligence-special-agent-staff-sgt-richard-eaton-jr-memorial-scholarship#sthash.Om0N2WkF.dpuf

Portfolio Items