Check out Dr. May in the Wall Street Journal!
Academic Project Used Marketing Data to Monitor Russian Military Sites | The Wall Street Journal
In 2019, a group of Americans was observing the cellphone signals coming from military sites across Eastern Europe. The trackers weren't professional intelligence analysts with access to secret intercepts. Rather, they were a team of academic researchers in Starkville, Miss., working with their graduate research assistants and undergraduate interns on the campus of Mississippi State University, using a commercially available software program. The effort was a demonstration to the military of the power of commercial cellphone data to provide valuable intelligence. The team was working on a U.S. Army-sponsored, unclassified, experimental project that sought to leverage "open-source" commercial data for intelligence purposes. "This project has served as a great opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students at MSU to develop real-world skills and knowledge that will benefit them greatly as they seek employment in the future," said David May, the principal investigator on the study and a sociology professor at Mississippi State.
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