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Private firm challenges Negroponte to duel

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WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) -- The head of a private research company has challenged the director of national intelligence to an information duel.

Robert David Steele Vivas, the chief executive officer of Open Source Solutions, is a longtime proponent of improving the U.S. government's ability to retrieve and analyze the vast amounts of information available publicly from web sites, magazines, and newspapers.

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He has been agitating for more than a decade for the creation of an open source intelligence agency.

On Thursday, Steele wrote an open letter challenging John Negroponte to an 11-day challenge to gather useful intelligence on 10 questions about threats to the United States using only a laptop computer and a cell phone.

He wants Congress to mandate the exercise. Negroponte would be allowed to call on the entire infrastructure of the intelligence community -- funded at about $50 billion annually -- and Steele would ask for $100,000 per question.

"Got game? I don't think you do. You should resign or ask the president to sponsor legislation creating an Open Source Agency outside the U.S. Intelligence Community (under diplomatic auspices), with a director appointed for life and a board of visitors consisting of former presidents, leaders of Congress, and Supreme Court justices.

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"I promise you this: if you have the balls to take me on publicly, between us we will make a compelling case for the national intelligence reform you have been unable to inspire from the inside," said Steele.

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