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The ACIPSS Newsletter: The Best Intelligence Brief In The World?

July 29, 2015

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The Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda, & Security Studies (ACIPSS) even gives it away for free every month. Curious subscribers only have to sign up for it.

The ACIPSS practices a hybrid of historical research and think tank immediacy to better understand how modern states utilize intelligence and propaganda. The organization is based in Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria. To better serve its audience and fans–for lack of a better word–the ACIPSS compiles a monthly document containing news from every global hot spot.

An amusing irony of our conflict-riven world is media outlets exist that cover the behind-the-scenes subterfuge perpetrated by governments and their enemies. Indigo Publishing’s Intelligence Online is a fine example. Another fine example are the blogs maintained by the Federation of American Scientists. Special consultancies, spy agencies, large military institutions, and universities do it too.

These practitioners rely on open source methods, which means gathering whatever information is released to the public. Open source has proven very effective in the current state of the Internet and often leaves traditional editorial rules in the dust.

The ACIPSS Newsletter is 100% open source, by the way, and it’s irresistible for its scope and breadth. Its Austrian roots are equally fascinating. As ACIPSS Director Siegfried Beer revealed during a 2014 interview his country and its historic capital Vienna remains Europe’s de facto spy Mecca.

Each month everything published related to ongoing wars, post-Edward Snowden leaks, US politics, the Cold War, Russia and China, terrorism, trans-national crime, cybersecurity, espionage, political scandals, and even conferences where all these topics are discussed are compiled and excerpted by ACIPSS, with hyperlinks available to review the source.

The result is the whole twisted universe of intrigue and malice between states is made available in a hefty PDF document. It’s nice to think the ACIPSS is the type of publication once reserved for statesmen and executives in “sensitive” professions. But the ACIPSS newsletter is available to anyone and the vast selection of material is always a treat for how thorough it is.

The newsletter’s current issue is 185 pages long and covers a familiar mix of world headlines, i.e. Islamic State, the NSA, geopolitics, Russia, China, Iran, the Middle East, EU, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, and cybersecurity. The beauty of it is in the details, however, as the ACIPSS seem to have left no link un-shared as they scoured the web for real intelligence.

To be fair, aside from the free newsletter the ACIPSS has its own academic journal and conferences where its staff liberally discuss the organization’s activities. This means the organization has built a heritage of its own that like-minded researchers and professionals can access. It’s the anonymous people who want a free curated intelligence brief who are best served by the newsletter.

Founded in 2004, the ACIPSS’ location means it publishes in Deutsch and English. The English version of the monthly newsletter is recommended for international readers.