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SWJED
11-09-2005, 08:59 AM
9 Nov. New York Times - Intelligence Center Is Created for Unclassified Information (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/09/politics/09center.html). Excerpt follows:

"Top intelligence officials announced on Tuesday the creation of a new agency, the Open Source Center, to gather and analyze information from the Web, broadcasts, newspapers and other unclassified sources around the world."

"The premise of the center, announced as part of the restructuring of the nation's intelligence agencies by the director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, is that some critical information to understand threats to national security requires neither spies nor satellites to collect."

"This 'open source' information can include anything from sermons broadcast from radical mosques in the Middle East to reports in the provincial Chinese press of possible avian flu outbreaks. Such material has often been undervalued by government policymakers, in part because it lacks the cachet of information gathered by more sensitive methods, intelligence officials said..."

Moderator's Note

Six threads have been merged here. Note there is separate one on Google Earth, which remains untouched.

KenDawe
11-10-2005, 06:46 PM
Re-inventing the Early Bird? Or institutionalizing it?
(And is it true that the Early Bird has been politicized in the last 5 years?)

Jedburgh
11-10-2005, 07:14 PM
Re-inventing the Early Bird? Or institutionalizing it?
(And is it true that the Early Bird has been politicized in the last 5 years?)
A bit more than the Early Bird.

In executing the National Strategy for Open Source, the Center will be a comprehensive Intelligence Community Center focused on all open sources, to include the Internet, databases, press, radio, television, video, geospatial data, photos, and commercial imagery. The Center's functions will include collection/acquisition; open source analysis and research; centralized training; and facilitation of government-wide access and exploitation.
Extensive details are available in a couple of documents that have been uploaded to AKO KC Intelligence Reference Files, for those with an account.

DDilegge
11-11-2005, 06:57 AM
Re-inventing the Early Bird? Or institutionalizing it?
(And is it true that the Early Bird has been politicized in the last 5 years?)

I read the Early Bird (Current News) every morning. It is simply coverage of major news items and Op-Ed pieces that address issues associated with the DoD. No opinion is offered, simply copies of news articles. While one might argue that the Early Bird only posts articles deemed "favorable", I would argue the opposite (for the most part) as I have seen news and opinions that slam the DoD on certain issues. The purpose here is to inform DoD leadership and others on what is being reported in the mainstream news media.

One criticism I have of the Early Bird is that they did away with the Supplement several months ago. The supplement offered a whole slew of additional reporting that might not be deemed "headline news" but otherwise offered deeper insight and background on important issues. The reason given for dropping the supplement was required manpower resources so the main Early Bird could go from a five-day to a seven-day format.

All that said, the SWJ tries to fill in and add depth to the Early Bird by posting Daily News Links (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/worm.htm). If you look at the address line (url) you can see our take-off (inside joke) on the Early Bird....

Referencing the new Open Source Intelligence Center - whole different ballgame - it will (or should) mine all open source data - not just headline news. Moreover, it will add analysis, not simply a regurgitation...

SWJED
04-19-2006, 11:12 AM
19 April Washington Times - CIA Mines 'Rich' Content From Blogs (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060418-110124-3694r.htm).


... The new Open Source Center (OSC) at CIA headquarters recently stepped up data collection and analysis based on bloggers worldwide and is developing new methods to gauge the reliability of the content, said OSC Director Douglas J. Naquin.

"A lot of blogs now have become very big on the Internet, and we're getting a lot of rich information on blogs that are telling us a lot about social perspectives and everything from what the general feeling is to ... people putting information on there that doesn't exist anywhere else," Mr. Naquin told The Washington Times.

Eliot A. Jardines, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for open source, said the amount of unclassified intelligence reaching Mr. Bush and senior policy-makers has increased as a result of the center's creation in November.

"We're certainly scoring a number of wins with our ultimate customer," said Mr. Jardines, who became the first high-level official in charge of the government's nonsecret intelligence in December.

"I can't get into detail of what, but I'll just say the amount of open source reporting that goes into the president's daily brief has gone up rather significantly," Mr. Jardines said. "There has been a real interest at the highest levels of our government, and we've been able to consistently deliver products that are on par with the rest of the intelligence community."...

The OSC uses powerful computers and software technology to "sift" the Internet for valuable intelligence. It also buys information from commercial databases.

In the past, open-source reports were used mainly by intelligence analysts...

SWJED
12-11-2006, 07:41 AM
11 December Washington Post - Seeking Iran Intelligence, U.S. Tries Google (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/10/AR2006121000959.html) by Dafna Linzer.


When the State Department recently asked the CIA for names of Iranians who could be sanctioned for their involvement in a clandestine nuclear weapons program, the agency refused, citing a large workload and a desire to protect its sources and tradecraft.

Frustrated, the State Department assigned a junior Foreign Service officer to find the names another way -- by using Google. Those with the most hits under search terms such as "Iran and nuclear," three officials said, became targets for international rebuke Friday when a sanctions resolution circulated at the United Nations.

Policymakers and intelligence officials have always struggled when it comes to deciding how and when to disclose secret information, such as names of Iranians with suspected ties to nuclear weapons. In some internal debates, policymakers win out and intelligence is made public to further political or diplomatic goals. In other cases, such as this one, the intelligence community successfully argues that protecting information outweighs the desires of some to share it with the world.

But that argument can also put the U.S. government in the awkward position of relying, in part, on an Internet search to select targets for international sanctions...

Jedburgh
12-11-2006, 01:32 PM
Sounds almost like another urban myth.

Hell, even after the Agency refuses an RFI from State, State has its own Bureau of Intelligence and Research (http://www.state.gov/s/inr/) staffed with professional analysts. They are just as good as any analysts at the Agency, although there is a significant difference in type, capability, and availability of collection resources.

I just don't see an RFI of consequence being filled by a cherry FSO in a cubicle when they have professional analysts on-hand. I see this story being leaked in this manner by someone at State as providing a public view of ongoing bureaucratic infighting.

bismark17
12-11-2006, 09:23 PM
My understanding is that State's Intel Unit used to be the Open Source Unit for the OSS. Once the OSS was disbanded they were placed with the State Department.

Steve Blair
12-11-2006, 09:36 PM
Sounds almost like another urban myth.

Hell, even after the Agency refuses an RFI from State, State has its own Bureau of Intelligence and Research (http://www.state.gov/s/inr/) staffed with professional analysts. They are just as good as any analysts at the Agency, although there is a significant difference in type, capability, and availability of collection resources.

I just don't see an RFI of consequence being filled by a cherry FSO in a cubicle when they have professional analysts on-hand. I see this story being leaked in this manner by someone at State as providing a public view of ongoing bureaucratic infighting.

I would tend to agree. This just sounds too "pat" to me. It could also be someone with the proverbial political ax to grind, since the Google spin would be a good way to discredit the accuracy of anyone's name who turned up in said memo.

Tom Odom
12-11-2006, 09:41 PM
I can't speak to the OSS connection but my experience with State INR as a historian wading through the 1964 Congo Crisis, as an intelligence analyst in Gulf War 1, and as an intel operator in Zaire and Rwanda was that INR did first rate work.

In many ways that work was possible because INR operated semi-independently of the regional bureaus and was not subject to policy pressures as are the bureaus and the embassies.

Finally my associates at INR stayed in their roles longer and developed greater depth than the analysts at DIA or CIA.

Tom

CSC2005
12-12-2006, 02:02 AM
It was not by accident that the new head of analysis under the DNI was the former head of State INR. Despite having fewer analysts then the CIA has lunchroom workers, INR has always prided themselves on long term deep analysis by analysts who cover an area for decades. Instead of playing 5-year old soccer "all the crowd the ball" intel or try to be a classified CNN, INR focuses on quality of analysis. A trait the 9/11 report said was "lacking" at CIA and DIA.

AFlynn
01-15-2007, 04:34 AM
How has INR fared in the big intelligence shuffle of the past five years?

These guys sound like people I'd like to work for...

CSC2005
01-16-2007, 12:24 AM
For what it is worth I think INR is the cream of the crop for intel analysis. They do not rely on billion dollar collection systems or having thousands of analysts, instead they focus on history, culture, language and in-country experience. Their products are focused toward the diplomatic leadership, but they are first rate for deep analysis. The only problem is that many foreign service officers, who run DoS, think they are better than intel analysts and INR gets second billing in the very political senior levels of the DoS.

Those are just my two cents from working with then. The big agencies have alot to learn form INR. I welcome any other thoughts.

SWJED
01-16-2007, 12:39 AM
For what it is worth I think INR is the cream of the crop for intel analysis. They do not rely on billion dollar collection systems or having thousands of analysts, instead they focus on history, culture, language and in-country experience. Their products are focused toward the diplomatic leadership, but they are first rate for deep analysis. The only problem is that many foreign service officers, who run DoS, think they are better than intel analysts and INR gets second billing in the very political senior levels of the DoS.

Those are just my two cents from working with then. The big agencies have alot to learn form INR. I welcome any other thoughts.

Art,

Though I am now over 7 years removed from the IC, my impressions in the 80's and 90's echo your observations. Whenever an INR analyst spoke at a NIE or any other gathering of community analysts I listened because there was meat behind what they had to say - and like you said - based on history, culture, language and in-country experience.

Dave

SWJED
01-25-2007, 08:57 PM
From Secrecy News (FAS Blog) - Army Seeks to Catalyze Open Source Intelligence (http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2007/01/army_seeks_to_catalyze_open_so.html).


A new U.S. Army Field Manual is intended to advance the development and use of open source intelligence (OSINT), which is intelligence that is derived from publicly available data legally obtained.

"The value of publicly available information as a source of intelligence has... often been overlooked in Army intelligence operations. This manual (http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fmi2-22-9.pdf) (pdf) provides a catalyst for renewing the Army's awareness of the value of open sources; establishing a common understanding of OSINT; and developing systematic approaches to collection, processing, and analysis of publicly available information."

The growing military appreciation of open source intelligence arises from the ever-increasing quality of public sources and the evident limitations of traditional classified approaches...

bismark17
01-26-2007, 05:19 AM
This is a good manual. While there is a lot of jargon that is DOD or DA specific the content is very interesting and applicable to Domestic L.E. Intel. It seems like the Army FMs just keep getting better. They have come a long way from the old FM 7-8 or 7-70 manuals that I used to read.

The manual is well laid out and organized. It's very relevant and useful for end users and not just "doctrine" specialists who are just skimming for the latest buzz words to throw out to impress the boss. It includes some very useful appendixes that add to the overall content. Interested readers who are not up on the PIR/SIR/IR methodology may find it useful to develop some knowledge of the Army Intel doctrine or process before digging in.

marct
01-26-2007, 01:42 PM
Interested readers who are not up on the PIR/SIR/IR methodology may find it useful to develop some knowledge of the Army Intel doctrine or process before digging in.

Any recommended readings on getting up to speed in he PIR/SIR/IR area?

Marc

Stan
01-26-2007, 04:25 PM
Humint, we used to call it globally. That included OSINT, but only a tinny part of HUMINT....can't hardly wait for Tom to log-on with his two cents.

OSINT, more or less what the more than 250 ARMY NCOs and Officers did for years (that would be 12 for me). Some were freebies at the local cocktail curcuits, others you had to work for.

Without a suitable background and language, you're up against a difficult task. Written press has its own slang, and context can get way outta hand if you have no idea what they are saying.

45 weeks in California does not get you there. Reading open source materials is one thing, but did you understand the overall context from say, an African's point of view ?

Regards, Stan

bismark17
01-26-2007, 05:15 PM
I learned a lot from a great friend over coffee just outside of the gates of Ft. Lewis. Until my eyes started drifting over to more interesting sights in the coffee shop......The new Army Intel Analysis manual is pretty good. FM34-3??? There is also a great one on Intel Analysis in Urban environments. I will send you the links.

The great thing is all of this stuff is on the net. At the risk of making the military guys mad at me, I don't think the methodology is that critical. It's good and works well for them in their realms. But they have to do deal with a very complex variety of potential situations and areas of operation that civilians don't have to worry about.

I don't have to worry about having a pre built process to set up an intel shop in Baghdad or North Korea, I just have to know what's going on in that barber shop where my players are hanging in as an example.

marct
01-26-2007, 05:21 PM
Hi John,


I learned a lot from a great friend over coffee just outside of the gates of Ft. Lewis. Until my eyes started drifting over to more interesting sights in the coffee shop......The new Army Intel Analysis manual is pretty good. FM34-3??? There is also a great one on Intel Analysis in Urban environments. I will send you the links.

Thanks, I'd appreciate it.


The great thing is all of this stuff is on the net. At the risk of making the military guys mad at me, I don't think the methodology is that critical. It's good and works well for them in their realms. But they have to do deal with a very complex variety of potential situations and areas of operation that civilians don't have to worry about.

I don't have to worry about having a pre built process to set up an intel shop in Baghdad or North Korea, I just have to know what's going on in that barber shop where my players are hanging in as an example.

Good point. Actually, I'm also wondering how much of it can be adapted for Anthropological fieldwork. I can just see the reactons ofsome of my colleagues when I assign a US Army manual as a textbook :D.

Marc

Steve Blair
01-26-2007, 05:41 PM
I'd appreciate those links as well, if you don't mind. Some of this bleeds over into my own theories of insurgencies and may have some historical links as well.

Jedburgh
01-26-2007, 06:32 PM
I learned a lot from a great friend over coffee just outside of the gates of Ft. Lewis. Until my eyes started drifting over to more interesting sights in the coffee shop......The new Army Intel Analysis manual is pretty good. FM34-3??? There is also a great one on Intel Analysis in Urban environments. I will send you the links.

The great thing is all of this stuff is on the net...
As far as I know, the current FM 2-91.4 Intelligence in Support to Operations in the Urban Environment (https://akocomm.us.army.mil/usapa/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_b/pdf/fmi2_91x4.pdf) (AKO log-in required), dated Jun 05, is not available on the general 'net - if that is the one you are referring to.

FM 34-3 Intelligence Analysis (http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm34_3.pdf), dated Mar 90, is readily available - but that version is dated. There was a much-improved draft dated May 98, but that isn't generally available. A new version has been in the works for a long time....

bismark17
01-26-2007, 06:46 PM
I tried to find them and am still looking. Whenever I find them I will pm them to you guys. The Open Source manual does have an interesting break down on basic research techniques that was also good.

You could cut and paste it with other items and create a great abstract for teaching. There is a lot of relevant material being created by the Military community that is applicable to anyone needing to understand what is going on in an area. Take care!

Jedburgh
01-26-2007, 07:54 PM
...The growing military appreciation of open source intelligence arises from the ever-increasing quality of public sources and the evident limitations of traditional classified approaches...
The new OSINT FM is only the latest in the evolution of the military approach to OSINT. Within the US Army we've had the INSCOM OSINT Handbook, published in May 03, and the Joint Military Intelligence Training Center Open Source Exploitation: A Guide for Intelligence Analysts, published in Apr 04 (this is the second edition, I never saw the first). Both had relatively limited distribution.

As far as I know, NATO was ahead of the game with a formal manual published in Nov 01, the NATO OSINT Handbook (http://documentacion.serviciosdeinteligencia.es/images/10-NATOOSINTHANDBOOK.pdf) and the NATO OSINT Reader (http://www.oss.net/dynamaster/file_archive/030201/254633082e785f8fe44f546bf5c9f1ed/NATO%20OSINT%20Reader%20FINAL%2011OCT02.pdf), published in Feb 02.

For those with AKO access, the OSINT Knowledge Center (https://www.us.army.mil/suite/kc/2840836) contains copies of the presentations from a number of intelligence assets and their approaches to OSINT as put out during a series of OSINT conferences held in 05 and 06.

Stan
01-26-2007, 09:53 PM
I learned a lot from a great friend over coffee just outside of the gates of Ft. Lewis. Until my eyes started drifting over to more interesting sights in the coffee shop.

Hi Bismark !
That's not too far fetched. Most of Humint today is little more than common sense and eyes open. DIAs course goes farther with lessons and experiences over the last 25 years. That "book" at AKO is much the same. The folks that put that together are former Army NCOs and Officers who once worked for DIA.

Regards, Stan

Beowulf
02-08-2007, 06:47 PM
We used to joke that OSINT was just an excuse to surf the niprnet, check email, buy crap from amazon, etc.

We started to get reports that some bad guys in the area were going to meet with a reporter, and we were tracking that, trying to find out where and when.

We missed the meet, but got lots of reports about it after it happened. Sure enough a few days later an analyst from higher emails us some pics from Reuters showing a group of BG's meeting in a typical sit down. Weapons, unifroms ak's, commo etc. The main BG's had their faces covered but some did not.

OSINT, actually proved useful, and will continue to do so.

This is especially true considering the BG's effective use of IO, along with the "good" of getting their message, videos, etc out there they get increased exposure and may end up showing us something we need to know.

bismark17
02-09-2007, 05:10 AM
It's amazing how much information can be lifted from social networking sites like myspace, facebook or just googling the target's email address. Obviously, these things are more relevant on the CONUS L.E. side.

Stan
02-09-2007, 12:33 PM
Deception and bias are of particular concern. These sources may also convey one message in English for US or international consumption and a different non-English message for local or regional consumption. It is important to know the background of open sources and the purpose of the public information in order to distinguish objective, factual information from information that lacks merit, contains bias, or is part of an effort to deceive the reader.

Bill Mera has some good strong points on this. My experiences in Sub-Sahara and Estonia often led to confrontation at the embassy. Reporting variations were at times near opposite and worse, irreconcilable. Those with greater rank, simply jammed their version down the tube.

The FM is certainly better than some of the "100 dash Ones" from my days in the early 80's.

Jedburgh
02-28-2007, 05:10 PM
...The new Army Intel Analysis manual is pretty good. FM34-3???...
...FM 34-3 Intelligence Analysis (http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm34_3.pdf), dated Mar 90, is readily available - but that version is dated. There was a much-improved draft dated May 98, but that isn't generally available. A new version has been in the works for a long time....
A Draft - Not For Implementation copy of the new FOUO FM 2-33.4 Intelligence Analysis (https://www.us.army.mil/suite/doc/7166209) in now available for review to those with an AKO log-in. It has significantly changed from the previous versions that I referred to in my earlier post.

Stan
02-28-2007, 06:15 PM
Jed,
It's getting better. I see some good improvements over the previous version. It will get even more practical as people use it and provide input.

It literally stands on OSINT as if this was the singular source and doesn't strike differences in clear terms for the typical Joe. A paragraph or two is used to strike distictions in intel gathering.

Relationships between two propositions with similar content and predicate, but differing in quantity or quality as in pro-govt. vs oppostion views are missing. Those situations tend to come up each day. Who then decides which version is more correct without anything else to go on ?

Those tend to be harder to grasp even for a seasoned player with a language background. Only with time does such an understanding come. How much time do we then allow before concluding the source is reliable ? It is after all, open and subject to 'opinions'.

The DC end of the coin has to make sense of this source. The FM doesn't address this adequately in my opinion. The end user will then determine on his/her own the significance ?

We often received inquiries from DC to recheck our info. Our views then were not just open, but from several sources put together in order to conclude we knew what we were talking about.

I welcome the FM and hope for success....Go Rangers !
Regards, Stan

dusty
03-01-2007, 08:03 PM
I've been doing some IPB on a new AO, and have been using a massive amount of OSINT to do it. I balance it out with the classified stuff I get, but for the most part, between media from the region, media in the US, and scholastic reports on the history of the AO, I have a much better overall understanding of the AO and can convey that to my commander. I am definitely an OSINT convert after these past two weeks!

Stan
03-01-2007, 08:14 PM
Welcome !
That would be my point, dead on.
Take it in, but back it up with something more credible.
Good on ya !

sgmgrumpy
07-24-2007, 06:47 PM
Remove if already posted.




On July 16-17, Chris Pallaris, Sean Costigan and I attended the DNI Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) Conference in Washington, DC. The most important message that emerged from the two day session was that OSINT is no longer "nice to have", rather it is an absolute imperative in our contemporary world of complex, asymmetric and non-linear security threats.

Read here (https://www.dniopensource2007.com/sessions.cfm) descriptions of the panel sessions and download selected power point presentations. :cool:

Dominique R. Poirier
07-24-2007, 10:22 PM
In my own opinion, a good specialist armed, once and for all, with solid real world knowledge in politics in general and about a given country or region can make surprisingly good analysis, and even accurate forecasts in politics and strategy on the sole basis of open sources.
However, it is understood that, in that case, analysis and forecast are likely to loose in accuracy with time since real world knowledge are not exempt from changes and evolutions. The pace of this observable decrease in accuracy depends of the observed country or region and of the significant political events or upheavals (publicly known or not) happening in them.

I see that correct deductions and forecasts exclusively based upon open sources owe to two ways of analyzing open sources which are: the formal analysis of the open sources per se; and perception management analysis. Other factors linked to the specifics of the observed country (when the object of our attention happens to be a country in particular) will provide the analyst a basis which will help detecting deception attempts. I’ll probably not tell anything new if I say that if the formal content of a given media known for its inclination to practice deception is therefore of relatively poor value, then we may consider it otherwise when analyzing it under the angle of perception management.

What happens when it comes to Army intelligence operations (a field about which I bloody don't know anything)? I admit that things might be ruled otherwise, then; especially if the enemy is not a nation or a country with a government and its own national media and is, or is not, acting as proxy.

So I’ll read this manual with great interest.

sgmgrumpy
07-25-2007, 11:59 AM
Open Source Intelligence Familiarization Documents


The intent of this single-page document is to share basic knowledge about Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). From OSS net

Version 2, May 2006 (http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/SICoP/2006-08-15/Open%20Source%20Intelligence%20Familiarization%20D ocuments%202.0.doc)

Jedburgh
12-12-2007, 02:48 PM
CRS, 5 Dec 07: Open Source Intelligence (OSINT): Issues for Congress (http://www.toddington.com/osintreport.pdf)

Open source information (OSINT) is derived from newspapers, journals, radio and television, and the Internet. Intelligence analysts have long used such information to supplement classified data, but systematically collecting open source information has not been a priority of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). In recent years, given changes in the international environment, there have been calls, from Congress and the 9/11 Commission among others, for a more intense and focused investment in open source collection and analysis. However, some still emphasize that the primary business of intelligence continues to be obtaining and analyzing secrets.

A consensus now exists that OSINT must be systematically collected and should constitute an essential component of analytical products. This has been recognized by various commissions and in statutes. Responding to legislative direction, the Intelligence Community has established the position of Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Open Source and created the National Open Source Center. The goal is to perform specialized OSINT acquisition and analysis functions and create a center of excellence that will support and encourage all intelligence agencies.

The effort has been only underway since late 2005 but the Center is up and running, and providing support, including training, to OSINT professionals throughout the Intelligence Community. Administrative mechanisms are in place to ensure that there is a comprehensive community-wide open source effort. It appears, however, to some observers that not all agencies have as yet made comprehensive commitments to acquiring and using open source information, nor that the ODNI has taken sufficient steps to ensure that open sources are appropriately exploited. Observers suggest that congressional oversight of the OSINT process might provide insight into current progress as well as identify areas that need modification. A particular focus of congressional interest might be potential tradeoffs between classified and open source collection to ensure that needed information is obtained in the best and most cost-effective manner. Proponents maintain that this approach helps to ensure that agents and expensive surveillance systems are focused on obtaining information that is being actively hidden.

The collection and analysis of OSINT information will be ultimately judged by its contribution to the overall intelligence effort. Collecting information from open sources is generally less expensive and less risky than collection from other intelligence sources. The use of OSINT may result not only in monetary savings but also in less risk than utilizing sensitive technical and human sources. OSINT can also provide insights into the types of developments that may not be on the priority list for other systems or may not be susceptible to collection through other intelligence approaches — innovative applications of new technologies, shifts in popular attitudes, emergence of new political and religious movements, growing popular discontent, disillusionment with leadership, etc. Supporters of OSINT maintain that the future contribution of the Intelligence Community will be enhanced by its ability to provide detailed information and incisive analyses of such developments. This report will be updated as new information becomes available.
Complete 27 page report at the link.

JeffC
12-13-2007, 03:21 AM
CRS, 5 Dec 07: Open Source Intelligence (OSINT): Issues for Congress (http://www.toddington.com/osintreport.pdf)

Complete 27 page report at the link.

I just finished reading it during my ferry commute home. I need some time to think about the implications, but I'm concerned about the lack of commitment to OSINT on the part of so many in leadership positions.

I see that DHS is farming out it's OSINT duties (http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/12/when-the-depart.html) to the SITE Institute. I'm inclined to support that model for the entire IC - i.e., farm out OSINT collection and analysis to small niche firms that have the skills, the people, and the agility to do it properly.

JeffC
12-13-2007, 03:30 AM
Remove if already posted.





Read here (https://www.dniopensource2007.com/sessions.cfm) descriptions of the panel sessions and download selected power point presentations. :cool:

Wow. This is a treasure trove. Thanks, grumpy.

Jedburgh
12-13-2007, 04:10 AM
I see that DHS is farming out it's OSINT duties to the SITE Institute. I'm inclined to support that model for the entire IC - i.e., farm out OSINT collection and analysis to small niche firms that have the skills, the people, and the agility to do it properly.
Your statement implies that the IC does not have the skills, people or agility to conduct effective analysis of open sources. I beg to differ. (although I would definitely state that neither DHS nor the Bureau have those resources - they are both still struggling to develop their emerging intel capabilities into something approaching minimally capable)

In sum, any properly trained and experienced intelligence professional is fully capable of effectively exploiting open source material. The fundamental tradecraft of the intelligence analyst remains the same whether the material is unclass or on the high side.

The primary struggle is with collection. Given the overwhelming amount of information available through a broad spectrum of media in a babble of languages, dialects and local jargon, collection structures have yet to meet the needs of analysts serving agencies with widely differing collection priorities. That problem is critical enough to justify contracting out certain specific types of collection.

However, although analytic products obtained from third party vendors are also valuable information sources (and the government has long used such vendors to conduct special studies), regular analytic production should not be outsourced - for what should be very obvious reasons.

Rex Brynen
12-13-2007, 04:38 AM
I completely agree with Ted.

I would also add--as someone who works with both OSINT as well as very high end classified material, that I think its very important that the streams not be too separated, since one is often needed to make sense of the other (certainly for the kind of assessment work I've done).

JeffC
12-13-2007, 05:26 AM
Your statement implies that the IC does not have the skills, people or agility to conduct effective analysis of open sources. I beg to differ. (although I would definitely state that neither DHS nor the Bureau have those resources - they are both still struggling to develop their emerging intel capabilities into something approaching minimally capable)

In sum, any properly trained and experienced intelligence professional is fully capable of effectively exploiting open source material. The fundamental tradecraft of the intelligence analyst remains the same whether the material is unclass or on the high side.

The primary struggle is with collection. Given the overwhelming amount of information available through a broad spectrum of media in a babble of languages, dialects and local jargon, collection structures have yet to meet the needs of analysts serving agencies with widely differing collection priorities. That problem is critical enough to justify contracting out certain specific types of collection.

However, although analytic products obtained from third party vendors are also valuable information sources (and the government has long used such vendors to conduct special studies), regular analytic production should not be outsourced - for what should be very obvious reasons.

The CRS study that you linked to points out some of the problems that exist within the IC as regards OSINT. Pages 8 and 9 list a few of the major obstacles, but the problems extend beyond this to a lack of confidence in the actual value of OSINT by some senior members of the effected agencies:

As far as why regular analytic production should not be outsourced - no, the reasons for that aren't obvious. In fact, the high percentage of outsourcing at the CIA has been the subject of a lot of debate. What do you think are the reasons for not outsourcing OSINT collection and analysis?

JeffC
12-13-2007, 06:42 AM
I completely agree with Ted.

I would also add--as someone who works with both OSINT as well as very high end classified material, that I think its very important that the streams not be too separated, since one is often needed to make sense of the other (certainly for the kind of assessment work I've done).

The CRS report that Ted linked to provides multiple reasons for doubt to be cast on the ability of the IC to fully take advantage of OSINT. The history of Intelligence analysis is a spotted one, so I'm not clear as to why Ted or anyone would think that analysis and collection of OSINT cannot be outsourced for better effect. Since you agree with Ted, perhaps you'll share your reasons?

Rex Brynen
12-13-2007, 01:46 PM
The CRS report that Ted linked to provides multiple reasons for doubt to be cast on the ability of the IC to fully take advantage of OSINT. The history of Intelligence analysis is a spotted one, so I'm not clear as to why Ted or anyone would think that analysis and collection of OSINT cannot be outsourced for better effect. Since you agree with Ted, perhaps you'll share your reasons?

I should start by saying the role of OSINT in analysis, the sorts of OSINT we're talking about, the technical challenges of collection and analysis, and its relative weight in production, all vary dramatically depending on the sort of analysis that one is doing. I can really only reflect on its role in the kind of (political and strategic assessment) work that I've done.

Second, it should be noted that there is already a lot of OSINT collection and analysis built into the system on the government side: a good share of diplomatic reporting, for example, is essentially OSINT collection and analysis. That reporting, in turn, feeds into IC product.

My concern about too much outsourcing of OSINT analysis stems from the observation that it is sometimes access to the high end classified material that shapes the relevance of OSINT, and those without access to this aren't always in a good position to understand the significance of what they are seeing in the OSINT material. I must admit, I always like to see data as raw as possible, to determine that the analytical conclusions drawn by others are the same ones that I would also draw.

I'm also worried about a byproduct of too much OSINT outsourcing being the implicit development of a division of labour--"you do the OSINT, we'll do the COMINT/HUMINT/etc"--which runs counter to the fundamental need for analysts to use the full spectrum of material.

I should add that my concerns are much less applicable to the outsourcing of some aspects of collection (which, as noted, is already done), and "preanalysis" of this material of the "hey, this is especially interesting" flag, or the "this relates in interesting ways to previous material" flag.

I have to dash to a conference in 2 minutes, so this answer rambles far more than I would wish. I'm sure, in any event, that Ted will provide a far more thoughtful and coherent answer than I'm capable of!

Jedburgh
12-13-2007, 02:01 PM
The quick answer is that contracting out capabilities that should be developed internally weakens rather than strengthens our national intelligence structure.

We've already done long-term damage to military intelligence by "outsourcing" critical capabilities while concurrently reducing internal capabilities for expediency's sake. As we continue to reform and develop our national intelligence capabilities, the last thing we need to do is step out along that path across the IC.

Also, as Rex stated, and I thought was implied in my post, open source information isn't assessed in a vacuum - it is simply one of many sources of information that the analyst must absorb. That is why I said that outsourcing of collection is justified (but only for the short term, until we effectively modify and develop effective internal structures within the IC) but not the outsourcing of analysis.

The "acceptance" of the value of OSINT within the IC is mainly a generational issue. Many "senior" guys are uncomfortable with the broad spectrum of open source media (both currently available and emerging) and prefer working with traditional sources, while the young'uns are perfectly capable of working in both worlds and of effectively integrating the two.

Myself, I find the view of those old boys kind of odd, as OSINT has long played a critical role in strategic intelligence analysis. I'm sure there's a couple of Cold Warriors on the board who recall the effort put into anayzing and interpreting articles published in the official Soviet media to support assessments of powershifts and policy changes in the Kremlin.

selil
12-13-2007, 02:09 PM
As has been said the OSINT is but one collection mechanism among many. I take issue with outsourcing it or further diluting the variety information in consideration, but more importantly I take issue with creating another non-permeable barrier in the collection process. If I had to put my finger on the issues with intelligence analysis and processing it is not the volume of information or the speed it is the number of analysts looking at any one area at a time. We need more highly trained analysts inside the intelligence organizations with better tools to do their job better. Outsourcing is not the answer it is only a band-aid over leprosy.

Penta
12-13-2007, 03:42 PM
Myself, I find the view of those old boys kind of odd, as OSINT has long played a critical role in strategic intelligence analysis. I'm sure there's a couple of Cold Warriors on the board who recall the effort put into anayzing and interpreting articles published in the official Soviet media to support assessments of powershifts and policy changes in the Kremlin.

To make the elders here feel really old...My advisor at Scranton (http://www.scranton.edu) was (in 61-62) a Soviet analyst for the CIA.

Old-fashioned Kremlinology was often talked about, in a "for those of you who were too young to notice" fashion, in classes. Basically, as history.

Example which sticks out: The immense effort put into getting...photos of the reviewing stands for the May Day and October Revolution parades. Hats or no hats, the positioning of various people, whether they were sitting or standing, analyzed to seemingly-absurd lengths.

How much of that actually produced insights of value, might I ask my elders?

*whistles the Soviet National Anthem boredly*

(I'm young enough to say that...I miss the Cold War. When things were simple, and you knew your enemy was at least sane (and could even be worked with on occasion!). Yes, this points out my youth.)

JeffC
12-13-2007, 04:53 PM
My concern about too much outsourcing of OSINT analysis stems from the observation that it is sometimes access to the high end classified material that shapes the relevance of OSINT, and those without access to this aren't always in a good position to understand the significance of what they are seeing in the OSINT material. I must admit, I always like to see data as raw as possible, to determine that the analytical conclusions drawn by others are the same ones that I would also draw.

--- In the private sector, this is a given. Evidence is sourced, and anyone who cares to can examine the original source. It's only in the IC that source data is closely guarded rather than shared. It's a good example of one of many flaws in the present system.


I'm also worried about a byproduct of too much OSINT outsourcing being the implicit development of a division of labour--"you do the OSINT, we'll do the COMINT/HUMINT/etc"--which runs counter to the fundamental need for analysts to use the full spectrum of material.

But the current system IS a division of labor. There are MASINT analysts, SIGINT analysts, IMINT analysts, etc., who like the fact that they're specialists and look down their noses at All-Source analysts as nothing more than writers. There's a MITRE study that explores this and recommends some changes be made, but as far as I know, those changes haven't happened yet, and they may never happen at all. Additonally, there are specialist agencies: NRO, NSA, NGA that only focus on certain types of INT collection and analysis.

JeffC
12-13-2007, 05:07 PM
The quick answer is that contracting out capabilities that should be developed internally weakens rather than strengthens our national intelligence structure.

We've already done long-term damage to military intelligence by "outsourcing" critical capabilities while concurrently reducing internal capabilities for expediency's sake. As we continue to reform and develop our national intelligence capabilities, the last thing we need to do is step out along that path across the IC..


Too late. DIA and CIA are heavily outsourced - well over 50% by some estimates.



Also, as Rex stated, and I thought was implied in my post, open source information isn't assessed in a vacuum - it is simply one of many sources of information that the analyst must absorb.

As I said to Rex, many analysts are already specialists, not generalists, and they like it that way. The agencies specialize as well (NRO, NSA, NGA, to name a few). It may not be the ideal, but that's how it is and it isn't changing anytime soon.



The "acceptance" of the value of OSINT within the IC is mainly a generational issue. Many "senior" guys are uncomfortable with the broad spectrum of open source media (both currently available and emerging) and prefer working with traditional sources, while the young'uns are perfectly capable of working in both worlds and of effectively integrating the two.

Agreed, and we don't have the time to wait for that "generational issue" to cease being an issue, which means that it's currently a problem which isn't going away.

I'm not suggesting that is a permanent fix, however considering how far behind we are, we need to run, not walk, towards getting up to speed to confront the variety of technological threats that threaten the U.S., and that are growing daily and that fact should compel us to keep an open mind as to where solutions can be found.

Jedburgh
12-13-2007, 07:02 PM
IMINT, MASINT and SIGINT require a degree of specific technical expertise other than the relatively straightforward tradecraft of intelligence analysis for analysis of the raw product. OSINT does not. There is zero need for a specific "OSINT analysis" discipline; as I stated before, it falls easily within the skillset of the traditional intelligence analyst.

However, speaking to assertions of interdisciplinary rivalries, in my personal experience I have not seen any general trend of professionals in those fields "looking down their noses" at the all-source analyst. Certain individuals, perhaps, but not a general attitude. On the contrary, In my previous life as a HUMINT collector, I have often personally worked with IMINT, SIGINT and all-source analysts across a spectrum of operational missions and never had any issues. (I can't say anything about the MASINT guys, though) At times we've all worked together as a multi-disciplined body to address specific issues and it always worked well. The rivalries that do pop up are generally good natured and positive in that they drive competititon to succeed. The real problems that do exist are at a higher interagency level, where very senior egos drive the turf battles.

Yes, several agencies are already involved in outsourcing. However, rather than calling up someone else to cut the grass while sitting down with a beer to watch football, those with power to influence decisions should be exerting their efforts to halt that process and to expedite the necessary internal restructuring. Short-term expedient solutions feed into long-term strategic dangers. By outsourcing to a growing degree we are set on the road to committing strategic damage to our national intelligence capabilities. We need to stop the parasites who continue to lobby for increasing this trend. Fear-mongering to derail carefully thought-out restructuring in favor of quick fix solutions is a common tactic. Their goals are not national security, but personal profit.

The real long-term solution, as I've stated several times before, is in personnel management. Hire good people, train and mentor them well, ensure that they have regular opportunities to travel within their areas of focus (for those who aren't already regionally-based) and have in place functional professional-development programs that ensures they keep up with emerging technology and methodology within their respective fields.

BILL
12-24-2007, 05:21 AM
thank you santa: You are the most rare "OSINTithus" very rare breed of suspect authenticity. We really have OSINT guys? Ok that is both scary and hopeful at the same time. Hopeful because we maynot be as far behind as I thought. Scary concept! You read OSINT and did what? Our OSINT CAPABILITIES are awesome, impresses me continually. We have been active for 1 1/2 yrs. But we treat the "Trooper" like an infant baby. We outline his areas of Interest, names, concepts, an open feed he can change/adjust at will. We feed him a steady diet 24/7 of things of INTEREST to him. A big steady vacuume of the Internet, sites, RSS, news, blogs, forums, docs, pdfs, etc. We make him the expert on real time OSINT intel, in his area, on a very pragmatic level. And they chose and run the ops etc. The end user directs the feed, amount, quality, targets, definitions, etc. We have developed a new concept, "Paradigm Intelligence", a very fancy inductive reasoning system. We have found we can pull data from a closed cell with it, it is anthropology based, as it looks more at actions and less at words. I hope to get some sense of what you DID. Thanks Bill
Humint, we used to call it globally. That included OSINT, but only a tinny part of HUMINT....can't hardly wait for Tom to log-on with his two cents.

OSINT, more or less what the more than 250 ARMY NCOs and Officers did for years (that would be 12 for me). Some were freebies at the local cocktail curcuits, others you had to work for.

Without a suitable background and language, you're up against a difficult task. Written press has its own slang, and context can get way outta hand if you have no idea what they are saying.

45 weeks in California does not get you there. Reading open source materials is one thing, but did you understand the overall context from say, an African's point of view ?

Regards, Stan

Stan
12-24-2007, 11:37 AM
thank you santa: You are the most rare "OSINTithus" very rare breed of suspect authenticity. We really have OSINT guys? Ok that is both scary and hopeful at the same time. Hopeful because we maynot be as far behind as I thought. Scary concept! You read OSINT and did what?

Bill,
First and foremost, welcome to the SWC!
One normally does not commence with personal attacks and skepticism for his/her first post. As time permits you, please go here (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=1441&page=21) and introduce yourself.

Yes, Bill, we really did, and do have OSINT ‘guys’ out there. Forgive me if I don’t feel good about sharing my past and training with someone who has ‘N/A’ listed as his/her background in the user profile. :wry:


Our OSINT CAPABILITIES are awesome, impresses me continually. We have been active for 1 1/2 yrs. But we treat the "Trooper" like an infant baby. We outline his areas of Interest, names, concepts, an open feed he can change/adjust at will. We feed him a steady diet 24/7 of things of INTEREST to him. A big steady vacuume of the Internet, sites, RSS, news, blogs, forums, docs, pdfs, etc. We make him the expert on real time OSINT intel, in his area, on a very pragmatic level. And they chose and run the ops etc. The end user directs the feed, amount, quality, targets, definitions, etc. Thanks Bill

I was not referring to our typical soldiers in non-intelligence roles and capacities; rather intel-related MOSs and being poorly prepared to do same. My initial intelligence training is more than two decades old, so I’ll assume there have been significant advances in OSINT (such as the internet, blogs and forums).

Regards, Stan

Jedburgh
04-09-2008, 06:37 PM
CSS, 9 Apr 08: Open Source Intelligence: A Strategic Enabler of National Security (http://se1.isn.ch/serviceengine/FileContent?serviceID=PublishingHouse&fileid=B5D36B62-0E20-BC0B-DD2E-C12E73D54892&lng=en)

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) has gained considerable prominence in recent years. Traditionally, intelligence has been the business of discovering secrets using a closed system of collection and analysis. Key sources included human intelligence (HUMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), and imagery intelligence (IMINT). Although open sources were frequently used in the intelligence process, their value was seen as secondary. Classified information was deemed more valuable and often more credible. The systematic acquisition of non-classified information was rarely seen as an intelligence priority.

Today, OSINT’s importance is widely acknowledged. It is estimated that OSINT provides between 80 and 95 per cent of the information used by the intelligence community. There is a growing debate within and between the various branches of government and the national security apparatus on how best to use open source information. However, the role and potential of OSINT remain a matter of some dispute. OSINT’s advocates believe it to be the answer to many of today’s intelligence challenges. They call for a new intelligence paradigm marked by a preponderance of open source information and a trans-sector intelligence collaboration that includes a broad network of public and private actors. But there are others who warn against treating OSINT as more than a component of a continuing, all-source approach to intelligence-gathering and analysis.....

Jedburgh
12-11-2008, 01:35 AM
House Committee on Homeland Security, Sep 08:

Giving a Voice to Open Source Stakeholders: A Survey of State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement (http://homeland.house.gov/SiteDocuments/OpenSourceReport.pdf)

....Open source intelligence products can and should be shared with appropriate Federal, State, local and tribal law enforcement, and the private sector because of their unclassified nature. Unfortunately, DHS has not effectively exploited this type of information to provide essential analytical products. In fact, DHS’ efforts have lagged behind the rest of the Federal government. While the Office of the DNI and the CIA have each established robust open source programs, DHS – the lead Federal agency responsible for sharing terrorism threat and vulnerability information with State and local law enforcement – has yet to articulate a vision for how it will collect, analyze and disseminate open source information......

milnews.ca
02-17-2010, 03:04 AM
Mod Squad: If this belongs elsewhere, feel free to move w/my thanks for your patience.

DHS has issued a Privacy Impact Assessment (PDF at DHS site (http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_pia_ops_2010winterolympics.pdf) - PDF at Scribd.com (http://www.scribd.com/doc/26885490/Privacy-Impact-Assessment-for-the-Office-of-Operations-Coordination-and-Planning-2010-Winter-Olympics-Social-Media-Event-Monitoring-Initiative)) highlighting some of the web sites they'll be monitoring to assess threats to the 2010 Olympics.

In spite of my bitterness at not making it into the Appendix ;), I've developed a page with their selected list o' links here (http://milnewstbay.pbworks.com/OSINT-DHS-LINKS-2010-OLYMPICS).

AdamG
05-14-2011, 04:44 PM
An excellent example of how astute observers can take the innocuous and start piecing together puzzles.



It is, according to a new book, part of the hidden reality behind the Pentagon’s classified, or “black,” budget that delivers billions of dollars to stealthy armies of high-tech warriors. The book offers a glimpse of this dark world through a revealing lens — patches — the kind worn on military uniforms.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/science/01patc.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5124&en=93801fcd873620f7&ex=1364788800&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Then again, when the media gets it wrong, they really get it wrong -

http://trekmovie.com/2011/05/06/geman-tv-fail-star-treks-maquis-not-involved-in-bin-laden-mission/

GeorgePBurdell
05-14-2011, 07:40 PM
I argue that when it comes to open source collection, the easiest target is the United States by a very wide margin.

davidbfpo
07-05-2011, 04:12 PM
Leah Farrell's blog consistently provides insight, aided by being Australian too and from a police background:http://allthingscounterterrorism.com/

A few weeks ago she posted a series of photos, obtained from a jihadi website, on an IMU training camp in Pakistan:http://allthingscounterterrorism.com/2011/06/12/photos-from-imu-training-camp-in-pakistan-apparently/

After some input and open source research she's posted an update:http://allthingscounterterrorism.com/more-info-on-imu-training-camp-pics/

The IMU crop up irregularly, especially due to their German links and maybe there is nothing of note here. It is IMHO an example of what can be done from open sources.

AdamG
07-05-2011, 11:31 PM
For the Peanut Gallery

If you have anyone in your chain who can take the Open Source course at Leavenworth, send them - it's well worth the time & effort.

bourbon
09-01-2011, 02:39 PM
To Defeat Terrorists, Start Using the Library (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-31/to-defeat-terrorists-do-a-little-research-in-the-library-scott-helfstein.html), by Scott Helfstein. Bloomberg, Aug 30, 2011.

The information glut that marks the 21st century is evidenced in some unexpected places. Last month, my organization, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, released a report (http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/CTC-Haqqani-Report_Rassler-Brown-Final_Web.pdf)that sharply disputed conventional wisdom about terrorism along the Afghanistan-Pakistani frontier.

The report argued that the Haqqani Network, a border- spanning tribal group with deep ties to Pakistan’s government, had been more influential than the Taliban in aiding al-Qaeda’s rise.

How did we support this thesis, which has vast implications for reconciliation efforts in the region as well as for the distribution of U.S. military aid? Not with data culled from clandestine operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas or from Osama bin Laden’s computer hard drive. The report was based on the public statements and writings of individual extremists over the past 30 years. Rather than ferreting out secret information, researchers merely took extremists at their voluminous word.

It seems terrorists, too, are susceptible to the syndrome known as Too Much Information.

Bill Moore
09-01-2011, 04:34 PM
bourbon, thanks for sharing this article. While in no way meaning to degrade or insult the excellent work our intelligent analysts do, intelligence analysis based on classified information (which is frequently just as questionable as unclassified information) often lacks critical context, especially historical context. And as in any other organization ideas tend to go viral and become accepted wisdom, even when they're incorrect. It is harder to correct the record when the idea is based on classified that not all the analysts (or subject matter experts) have access to.

OSINT is an underused discipline in my view. I think part of the blame for our shortfalls is in our process, where commanders want dumbed down summaries on targets without context, so the intell community (not all of it, but definitely on the pointy end of the tactical spear) becomes target fixated, and they miss the bigger picture, a picture that may indicate their targeting process needs to be adjusted to have the desired effect.

carl
09-01-2011, 05:48 PM
Bill and Bourbon:

It occurs to me that most all civilian PHD experts on various areas and peoples of the world get to be PHDs by studying open sources. Those same PHDs are then sometimes turned to by the military in order to pass on the knowledge they learned from open sources. I can see local commanders wanting dumbed down reports but why don't the higher ups put more emphasis on the open sources the civilian experts used to get to be experts?

davidbfpo
01-13-2013, 12:41 AM
Hat tip to a "lurker" for this Swiss think tank's fifteen minute podcast:http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Digital-Library/Audio/Detail/?ots591=40db1b50-7439-887d-706e-8ec00590bdb9&lng=en&id=154122 and the speakers bio:http://www.i-intelligence.eu/about/team/

The summary says:
The growing availability of open source information has profoundly impacted intelligence agencies and how they have operated over the last 10 years. In today’s podcast, Chris Pallaris discusses the risks and opportunities that open source intelligence poses. He also describes what makes a good intelligence analyst in the open source era.

AdamG
05-18-2013, 03:53 PM
The National Security Agency just declassified a hefty 643-page research manual called Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research (PDF) that, at least at first, doesn't appear all that interesting. That is, except for one section on page 73: "Google Hacking."

http://news.yahoo.com/search-spy-googles-secret-hacks-revealed-140400536.html

davidbfpo
06-01-2013, 07:32 PM
This is a very good website that shows what papers are where globally, with details on websites, language spoken etc. I thought I had posted a while back, after a RN speaker referred to it an academic/practitioner conference:http://newspapermap.com/

I wonder if there is a similar site for TV / radio stations, which can be accessed via the web? BBC Monitoring I expect offer a summary, for a fee!

davidbfpo
07-11-2014, 07:55 PM
A Greek story:http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/07/11/location-of-syrian-chemical-weapons-destruction-revealed/[/URL][URL="http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/07/11/location-of-syrian-chemical-weapons-destruction-revealed/#sthash.mAt2xXgA.dpuf"] (http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/07/11/location-of-syrian-chemical-weapons-destruction-revealed/#sthash.mAt2xXgA.dpuf)

davidbfpo
08-23-2014, 02:29 PM
I missed this short video from The Guardian, in April 2014, on the work of a small team at Kings College London's ICSR; they have been to the fore this week commenting on counter-Jihadist options post-Foley:http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2014/apr/15/jihad-syria-social-media-video

Towards the end Dr. Peter Neumann, the ICSR Director, wonders why the teams work is appearently not matched within officialdom with far greater resources.

davidbfpo
09-27-2014, 04:01 PM
A FP article which is not convinced of the frequent claims that big data can provide answers and warnings:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/09/26/why_big_data_missed_the_early_warning_signs_of_ebo la?

It is behind a registration wall, which defeats citation.

davidbfpo
10-03-2014, 07:05 PM
From The Boston Globe a portrait of American open source analysts, including our own Clint Watts (CWOT) and sub-titled:
A new generation of self-made experts is tracking extremists through their online activity — and rewriting the rules of intelligence in the process

The last sentence refelects the thread discussion on why traditional intelligence in the MENA and Ukraine:
The true lesson of the independent jihadi trackers might be that the intelligence and policy establishment needs to be quicker to follow the culture wherever it chooses to communicate, sometimes leaving secret insights scattered in plain sight.

Link:http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2014/10/02/the-jihadi-hunters/tTC2t6UNIyzlioSoGBs5VO/story.html?event=event25

davidbfpo
08-11-2016, 07:00 PM
A really good illustration how open sources can reveal, the main target is one of Putin's "lieutenants", but researching his yacht and girlfriend is the story:https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/5523-the-secret-of-the-st-princess-olga

AdamG
09-23-2016, 03:00 AM
Taiwan has asked Google to blur satellite images of what appear to be new military installations on a disputed island in the South China Sea.
Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, is part of the Spratly Island chain, embroiled in increasingly tense South China Sea territorial disputes.
Although it is controlled by Taiwan, the island is also claimed by mainland China, Vietnam and the Philippines

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37436696

davidbfpo
01-11-2017, 12:04 PM
Two sites. The first is armament research, I'd call this technical intelligence and with on first glance is a MENA focus:http://armamentresearch.com/

The second, Swiss-based describes itself (in part) as:
The Small Arms Survey is a global centre of excellence whose mandate is to generate evidence-based, impartial, and policy-relevantknowledgeon all aspects of small arms and armed violence. It is the principal international source of expertise, information, and analysis on small arms and armed violence issues....Link:http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/

AdamG
02-09-2017, 04:55 PM
Attention undergraduates.


Wikipedia editors have said they will no longer accept links to Daily Mail stories to support citations because it is too#unreliable.
A fiery debate on its suitability as a source ended with a consensus view that the#Mail, and#Mail Online, were "generally unreliable" and their use "is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist".
The statement added: "The general themes of the support votes centred on the Daily Mail's reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication."

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/wikipedia-editors-ban-daily-mail-source-citation-unreliable-mail-online-a7570856.html

OUTLAW 09
02-12-2017, 11:37 AM
An excellent image forensics tool.....for open source analysis work.

Reveal Project @RevealEU
Did you use our #image #forensics tool?
Do you have feedback for us?
Let us know!
Or try it now:
http://reveal-mklab.iti.gr/reveal/

Stop Fake @StopFakingNews
Here is your weekly update on Kremlin disinformation efforts
http://www.stopfake.org/en/kremlin-watch-monitor-february-9-2017/#

OUTLAW 09
03-08-2017, 10:16 AM
Stop Fake @StopFakingNews

Tracking a Mysterious Missile Launcher Inside an Information War

http://www.stopfake.org/en/tracking-a-mysterious-missile-launcher-inside-an-information-war/#

OUTLAW 09
03-13-2017, 11:51 AM
2015 "The Rise of iWar" report from @SSInow mentions @EliotHiggins' work and @bellingcat's vehicle tracking project.
http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=1292#

AdamG
03-15-2017, 12:58 PM
Added to my sigline.
http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg



The document backs up open-source and think-tank reporting on the Assad regime’s use of chlorine gas.

The Assad government likely committed numerous war crimes in its 2016 assault on Eastern Aleppo, including dropping chlorine bombs from helicopters, according to a new U.N. report that rebuts repeated Kremlin claims and validates months of reporting by open source-media outlets and U.S. think tanks. The report appeared online on Wednesday, hours after Russia and China vetoed a U.N. proposal to sanction Syria for the gas#attacks.
The March 1 document describes numerous reports of chlorine attacks by Syrian forces in Aleppo. It follows consistent reporting on the Syrian government’s use of chlorine by the open-source intelligence group Bellingcat. Human Rights Watch has also documented the Assad regime’s deployment of chlorine in civilian areas of#Aleppo.

http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2017/03/UN-Report-Alleges-Syrian-War-Crimes-in-Aleppo-Rebutting-Russian-Denials/135804/

AdamG
03-20-2017, 06:43 PM
One 4Chan user suggested the Administration turn the live feeds into a “game” for users to help spot and report Illegals crossing, potentially earning points. The two screen shots attached to the original tweet purport to show 4Chan users catching would-be illegals in the act:
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/03/4chans-pol-using-border-webcams-help-report-illegals/

davidbfpo
04-27-2017, 10:24 AM
A short, seven minute video from the NYT on the CW stroke on Khan Sheikhoun; it mixes open source info, yes with drone footage and the public statements by Russia & Syria.
Link:https://www.nytimes.com/video/world/middleeast/100000005063944/syria-chemical-attack-russia.html?emc=edit_mbe_20170427&nl=morning-briefing-europe&nlid=67232673&te=1

Copied from the current Syria thread as an example what can be done.

Note the NYT does not attribute responsibility for the CW strike.

davidbfpo
01-16-2019, 09:55 AM
Thread reopened for the next post and to add a reminder to check the thread on OSINT and Bellingcat:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?19471-OSINT-quot-Brown-Moses-quot-amp-Bellingcat-(merged-thread)

davidbfpo
01-16-2019, 09:58 AM
A chart worth keeping to hand, although the focus in terrorism and radicalisation there is more there e.g. crypto currency.
Link:https://start.me/p/OmExgb/terrorism-radicalisation-research-dashboard