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)

Networking
  • network management system

    A network management system, or NMS, is an application or set of applications that lets network engineers manage a network's ...

  • host (in computing)

    A host is a computer or other device that communicates with other hosts on a network.

  • Network as a Service (NaaS)

    Network as a service, or NaaS, is a business model for delivering enterprise WAN services virtually on a subscription basis.

Security
  • crypto wallet (cryptocurrency wallet)

    A crypto wallet (cryptocurrency wallet) is software or hardware that enables users to store and use cryptocurrency.

  • zero-day (computer)

    A zero-day is a security flaw in software, hardware or firmware that is unknown to the party or parties responsible for patching ...

  • backdoor (computing)

    A backdoor attack is a means to access a computer system or encrypted data that bypasses the system's customary security ...

CIO
  • outsourcing

    Outsourcing is a business practice in which a company hires a third party to perform tasks, handle operations or provide services...

  • chief operating officer (COO)

    A chief operating officer (COO) is the corporate executive who oversees ongoing business operations within the company.

  • project management

    Project management is the discipline of using established principles, procedures and policies to guide a project from conception ...

HRSoftware
  • team collaboration

    Team collaboration is a communication and project management approach that emphasizes teamwork, innovative thinking and equal ...

  • employee self-service (ESS)

    Employee self-service (ESS) is a widely used human resources technology that enables employees to perform many job-related ...

  • learning experience platform (LXP)

    A learning experience platform (LXP) is an AI-driven peer learning experience platform delivered using software as a service (...

Customer Experience
  • market basket analysis

    Market basket analysis is a data mining technique used by retailers to increase sales by better understanding customer purchasing...

  • marketing stack

    A marketing stack, also called a marketing technology stack, is a collection of technologies used by marketers to perform, ...

  • social media influence

    Social media influence is a marketing term that describes an individual's ability to affect other people's thinking in a social ...

Close