A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request caused the NSA to disgorge its guide to web research, which is some six years out of date.
From the post:
The National Security Agency just released “Untangling the Web,” an unclassified how-to guide to Internet search. It’s a sprawling document, clocking in at over 650 pages, and is the product of many years of research and updating by a NSA information specialist whose name is redacted on the official release, but who is identified as Robyn Winder of the Center for Digital Content on the Freedom of Information Act request that led to its release.
It’s a droll document on many levels. First and foremost, it’s funny to think of officials who control some of the most sophisticated supercomputers and satellites ever invented turning to a .pdf file for tricks on how to track down domain name system information on an enemy website. But “Untangling the Web” isn’t for code-breakers or wire-tappers. The target audience seems to be staffers looking for basic factual information, like the preferred spelling of Kazakhstan, or telephonic prefix information for East Timor.
I take it as guidance on how “good” does your application or service need to be to pitch to the government?
I keep thinking to attract government attention, an application needs to fall just short of solving P = NP?
On the contrary, the government needs spell checkers, phone information and no doubt lots of other dull information, quickly.
Perhaps an app that signals fresh doughnuts from bakeries within X blocks would be just the thing.