Biodefense | BrightPlanet

The Washington Post Reporter Uses AMPLYFI to Research North Korea

BrightPlanet’s Data-as-a-Service (Daas) isn’t just for large-scale corporations or federal entities.

Working with our partner, AI startup AMPLYFI, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Joby Warrick put data harvesting technologies to work. Warrick sought to better understand the extent of North Korea’s bioweapons capability for a Washington Post article.

AMPLYFI’s business intelligence product DataVoyant utilizes information harvested by BrightPlanet through DaaS. And in turn, DataVoyant allowed Warrick to conduct a search for potential links to North Korean activity in biodefense topics.

Extracting Data for Research

The results showed hundreds of thousands of references, leading Warrick to the conclusion that North Korea may have closed a technical skills gap previously identified by U.S. intelligence officials.

According to Warrick’s research, there was a clear spike in terms such as “gene expression” and “nucleic acid sequence” starting as little as two years ago.

“Every continent is represented [in the data],” AMPLYFI co-founder Chris Ganje said, with “worrying indicators of unintended support” showing up throughout the search data.

“It is obvious that the international community and larger institutions need to be cautious in providing seemingly benign academic scientific education and training to North Korea,” Ganje said.

Extracting Data for Your Business

Warrick found instances where North Korea could conceivably be dispatching scientists abroad to seek advanced degrees — with ultimate plans to bring those home for nefarious use.

There’s no way Joby Warrick could have done this much research on his own.

It takes the power of data harvesting platforms like those offered by BrightPlanet and AMPLYFI to help journalists reach these important conclusions.

Our team can help your business do the same.

Download and watch one of our webinars with AMPLYFI to learn how to leverge Deep Web data and open source data, no matter what your industry. 

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