MINDS Conference: Truly Baffling

May 6, 2022

I received a link to a conference in Finland, which is just around the corner from Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky. The outfit’s flier perched on a Google Drive, and I learned that the MINDS program is into talking about news, collaboration, and diversity. The sponsors of the conference in Helsinki are

  1. Ifragasätt, another consulting firm “supplies its customers with solutions for live-blogging/reporting and readers comments.
  2. Namia, apparently a consulting firm responsible for STT Spy Tool, STT Little Bird, STT Vault News Robotics and Data Platform and STT’s Crime Database, among others. (Although my research team follows intelware, the STT Crime Database was interesting because it seems to be a resource owned by the Finnish New Agency or “STT.”
  3. PicRights, a copyright enforcement entity which “Using state-of-the-art technology to identify infringements and a team of experienced staff to qualify them as enforceable, PicRights delivers actionable cases to the appropriate regional enforcement unit for settlement and collection of fees for the unlicensed uses.” (There are offices in many countries, just not in the US. What does that suggest, Mr. Higbee?)

If there are other sponsors, I did not spot them in the program.

My reaction to the line up of speakers is that considerable attention will be directed to the news opportunities created by the actions a certain nation state.

What’s interesting is that outputs about the dust up East of Helsinki does not talk about improper reuse of TikTok videos, tweets, and YouTube posts. In my lecture at the 2022 National Cyber Crime Conference, I commented about how a former CIA operator surfed open source information. The former CIA professional writes novels but discovered information about the yachts allegedly owned by Russians who have been sanctioned. The information comes in part from the YouTube videos of eSysman and other open sources. But the former CIA professional did not identify these sources in a Lawfare podcast featuring the information.

My thought is that the MINDS Conference agenda has hip-hopped over the recycling of information related to the misunderstanding roiling Europe and allowing real news organizations to reuse content.

I will never know. The flier which I referenced includes this statement:


The shouting caps appear in the original flier. What’s the penalty if the graduate student speaking at the conference puts her / them ideas in a journal article.

My hunch is that with a crime database and a legal network among the sponsors, something really bad will happen.

Will that punishment be worse than ignoring improper use of individuals posting information as OSINT and hearing crickets from “real news” outfits about fair use?

Of course not. Leveraging OSINT for commercial gain is part of the “real news” game for some publishers. Secrecy is good for some geese. Let’s hope the graduate student does not miss the ALL CAPS message.

Stephen E Arnold, May 6, 2022


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