Browse Definitions :
Definition

COMINT (communications intelligence)

Communications intelligence (COMINT) is information gathered from the communications of individuals, including telephone conversations, text messages and various types of online interactions.

COMINT efforts seek information about voice, text and signal transmissions and attempts to determine a number of intelligence considerations about them. intelligence, in this context, is information that gives an organization or individual support for making decisions that are intended to provide them with a strategic advantage. The term is often abbreviated as “intel.”

COMINT activities are intended to determine details about the communications such as:

  • Who the communicating parties are.
  • Where those parties are located.
  • The organizational function of the transmitter.
  • Time and duration of communication.
  • Frequencies and other technical details of note in the transmission.
  • Encryption used and whether it can be decrypted.

Friendly military communications are also monitored similarly as a part of communications security (COMSEC). While intelligence communities in the U.S. have stated that COMINT is concerned only with foreign entities, the Snowden revelations show very similar tactics used on the country’s own citizens. It was disclosed, for example, that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been gathering the communications and related metadata of private citizens since at least 2001.

The term COMINT is often used as a synonym of signals intelligence (SIGINT) but it is actually a subfield of that broader area, which also includes electronics intelligence (ELINT). COMINT, like SIGINT and ELINT, is a term defined by the United States Department of Defense, and a field of data studied by intelligence communities the world over.

See also: Snowden effect

This was last updated in May 2015

Continue Reading About COMINT (communications intelligence)

SearchNetworking
SearchSecurity
  • man in the browser (MitB)

    Man in the browser (MitB) is a security attack where the perpetrator installs a Trojan horse on the victim's computer that is ...

  • Patch Tuesday

    Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system ...

  • parameter tampering

    Parameter tampering is a type of web-based cyber attack in which certain parameters in a URL are changed without a user's ...

SearchCIO
  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and ...

  • Lean Six Sigma

    Lean Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to improving efficiency, customer satisfaction and profits.

  • change management

    Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organization's goals, processes...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • clickstream data (clickstream analytics)

    Clickstream data and clickstream analytics are the processes involved in collecting, analyzing and reporting aggregate data about...

  • neuromarketing

    Neuromarketing is the study of how people's brains respond to advertising and other brand-related messages by scientifically ...

  • contextual marketing

    Contextual marketing is an online marketing strategy model in which people are served with targeted advertising based on their ...

Close