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OAIN 2060 - Secret Intelligence in the Digital Age

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Students should have a laptop or tablet or other mobile device they can bring to class able to connect to the Science Po network for Google Chrome and Google drive.

Course Description

This course offers students the opportunity to pursue an important aspect of the academic study of modern intelligence, given the rise in importance of digital methods for deriving intelligence from data in motion or at rest in databses. The course focuses on the part that modern digital intelligence plays, along with more traditional sources, in providing intelligence to support decision makers in areas such as counter-terrorism, criminal investigation and cyber security. Participants are encouraged to explore the ethical and legal issues including privacy rights raised by the increasing collection, storage and analysis of digital personal information by private sector companies, and the use of that information by intelligence agencies and law enforcement bodies. Norms for responsible national conduct in cyber-space and cyber security are explored along with models for legislative and judicial oversight of digital intelligence. The course uses a mixture of theoretical and contemporary examples drawn primarily from US and UK experience. The course underpins several of the functional competences for those wishing to specialise in intelligence analysis. It also provides an appreciation and understanding of wider intelligence-related topics, such as the ethics of intelligence activity and international cooperation in intelligence sharing. It will therefore provide a grounding in the study of modern intelligence as excellent preparation for government service or in employment in commercial risk management and open source intelligence. No prior technical knowledge of coding, Internet protocols and web operation is required.


  • JAQUES-APKE, Amélie J. (Doctorante)
  • OMAND, David (Professeur)

Pedagogical format

Six modules, each self-contained but building on the previous sessions. Each module is 2+2 hours. each 2 hour session consists of a formal illustrated lecture followed by a discussion period. Written exercises will test comprehension of key learning points. 6 weeks.

Course validation

Mid-term course-work on San Seriffe exercise, Part 1 (1/5 of the final mark) Mid-term course-work on San Seriffe Exercise, Parts 2 and 3 (1/5 of the final mark) Final written intelligence assessment paper (2/5 of the final mark) Participation in class discussion and attendance (1/5 of the final mark)


The course demands that students undertake a minimum of required reading before each session as well as preparation for discussion on a specific topic. 3 to 6 hours.

Required reading

  • Omand, D. Securing the State (2010) Kindle edition available
  • Omand, D., Digital Intelligence and the Norms that should Govern It, Ottawa/London: CIGI/Chatham House (2015) , available at
  • Omand, D., Bartlett, J., and Miller, C., Introduction to Social Media Intelligence, Intelligence and National Security, Vol 27 No. 6 December 2012, pp. 803-823.
  • Rid, T. (2013). Cyber War will Not Take Place, Oxford/New York, Oxford University Press
  • Liberty and Security in a Changing World, White House report, December 2013, at

Additional required reading

DeNardis, L., The Global War for Internet Governance, Yale: Yale University Press, 2014.