The 16 agencies that form the U.S. intelligence community have unveiled their own internal Wikipedia. John Negroponte announced  Intellipedia’, a system built upon the same Mediawiki as Wikipedia itself.  Intelliwiki was introduced on April 17th and since then has grown to house over 28,000 pages with 3,600 registered users.  The system is available to those with “top secret’ level clearance, with other versions existing for “secret” and “sensitive but unclassified” articles.

Questions have been raised regarding the potential for security lapses.  With information being readily available to thousands of people whom would not normally see it, the potential for leaks is dramatically increased. Michael Wertheimer the intelligence community’s chief technical officer acknowledged “We’re taking a risk,” however the potential benefits are thought to outweigh the risks.  The wiki format is perfect for collaboration between the various intelligence agencies giving them a central intelligence data source–it’s not only used to hold key intelligence data but any information which may be  internally useful such as meeting notes and internal memos.  Unlike Wikipedia; Intelliwiki does not enforce neutral point of view policy rather allows agencies, offices and individuals to express their own opinions–it’s hoped a consensus will emerge.

The use of wikis as a central store of collective knowledge is becoming increasingly popular.  A book I have recently read suggests that the wiki format is ideal for IT departments to store documentation covering systems and project work.  Are any readers using a wiki in groundbreaking or innovative ways?