Secrecy News

Crowdsourcing the Verification of Nuclear Safeguards

The possibility of mobilizing members of the public to collect information — “crowdsourcing” — to enhance verification of international nuclear safeguards is explored in a new report from Sandia National Laboratories.

“Our analysis indicates that there are ways for the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] to utilize data from crowdsourcing activities to support safeguards verification,” the authors conclude.

But there are a variety of hurdles to overcome.

“Some implementations of crowdsourcing for safeguards are legally or ethically uncertain, and must be carefully considered prior to adoption.”

Crowdsourced information, like other information, has to be independently verified, particularly since it is susceptible to error, manipulation and deception.

The report builds on previous work cited in a bibliography. See Power of the People: A Technical, Ethical and Experimental Examination of the Use of Crowdsourcing to Support International Nuclear Safeguards Verification by Zoe N. Gastelum, et al, Sandia National Laboratories, October 2017.

One thought on “Crowdsourcing the Verification of Nuclear Safeguards

  1. Steve, although called something different, this still-useful idea was espoused and studied by George Stanford during the Cold War.

    Readers who might want to know more about this and other Cold War methods for treaty verification might want to see my book, Cold War Brinkmanship.

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