COLLECTION AND USE OF OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE

2005 - 2009

 

Best, Richard A., Jr., and Alfred Cumming. Open Source Intelligence (OSINT): Issues for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 5 Dec. 2007. Available at: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/RS34270.pdf.

"A consensus now exists that OSINT must be systematically collected and should constitute an essential component of analytical products.... [T]he Intelligence Community [IC] has established the position of Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Open Source and created the National Open Source Center.... [T]he Center is up and running, and providing support ... to OSINT professionals throughout the [IC]. 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."

Burger, Timothy J. "Opening Up the CIA." Time, 15 Aug. 2005, 19.

"Senior intelligence officials tell TIME that CIA Director Porter Goss plans to launch by Oct. 1 an 'open source' unit that will greatly expand on the work of the respected but cash-strapped office that currently translates foreign-language broadcasts and documents like declarations by extremist clerics. The budget, which could be in the ballpark of $100 million, is to be carefully monitored by John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who discussed the new division with Goss in a meeting late last month."

Eisler, Peter. "Today's Spies Find Secrets in Plain Sight." USA Today, 31 Mar. 2008. [http://www.usatoday.com]

According to intelligence officials, "[t]he explosion of information available via the Internet and other public sources has pushed the collection and analysis of that material to the top of the official priority list in the spy world.... It's a challenging task, given the mountains of material to sift through.... The CIA has set up an Open Source Center ... where officers pore over everything from al-Qaeda-backed websites to papers distributed at science and technology symposiums, says Douglas Naquin, the center's director."

Robert David Steele, "founder of OSS.Net, a commercial intelligence provider for private companies and the government," says that "[a]gencies still aren't investing enough in training and technology to use open sources,... so analysts lack language and computer skills, and many use outdated hardware and software that make searches slow or cumbersome."

Fillmore, Randolph. "Integrating Open Source Intelligence." Defense Consulting & Outsourcing Online Edition, 22 Aug. 2005. [http://www.defense-consulting-outsourcing.com]

If the U.S. government responds to the demands for greater use of open source intelligence (OSINT), "private defense contractors will have to provide more open source intelligence analysis.... Although new and bigger opportunities for companies with unique OSINT capabilities may spike, growth in the outsourced intelligence industry has been rising steadily for some time."

Mercado, Stephen C. "Reexamining the Distinction Between Open Information and Secrets." Studies in Intelligence 49, no. 2 (2005).

The author argues that "(1) secrets are not identical to intelligence; (2) the distinction between overt and covert sources is more blurred than commonly imagined; (3) open information often equals or surpasses classified material; (4) slighting OSINT is no way to run an intelligence community; and (5) the private sector is no substitute for the government in applying open sources to address today's intelligence challenges." He concludes that "Washington needs to assign greater resources to open sources. Whether we create a national OSINT center or leave FBIS and its counterparts right where they are is less important than the issue of dollars and people."

Military Intelligence 31, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 2005): Entire issue. ["Open-Source Intelligence."]

Click for Table of Contents.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "National Open Source Enterprise." Intelligence Community Directive Number 301 [ICD 301]. Washington, DC: 11 Jul. 2006. Available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/icd/icd-301.pdf.

ICD 301 establishes DNI "policy and specifies responsibilities for the oversight. management, and implementation of IC open source activities." It "recognizes and establishes the roles and responsibilities of the Assistant Deputy DNI for Open Source (ADDNI/OS), the DNI Open Source Center (the Center). and the IC to ensure efficient and effective use of open source information and analysis.... Open source strategy development, programmatic oversight, and evaluation will be centralized under the ADDNI/OS. Open source activities will be executed in a distributed manner....

"DNI Open Source Center and D/CIA as Executive Agent

"a. The Center serves to advance the IC's exploitation of open source material and nurtures acquisition, procurement, analysis, dissemination, and sharing of open source information, products, and services throughout the USG.

"b. Under the overall guidance of the DNI, the D/CIA serves as the DNI's Executive agent for the Center, with day-to-day management delegated to the Center director and operating the Center under all relevant authorities available to the CIA. The Center director reports directly to the Deputy D/CIA in executing strategy, policy, and program guidance established by the DNI. The ADDNI/OS establishes open source strategy, policy, and prograrm guidance for the Center and other IC elements....

"c. The Center is established at CIA and builds on the former Foreign Broadcast Information Service. It will include personnel from across the IC and other USG organizations.

"d. The Center director is selected and appointed by the CIA with the concurrence of the DNI. The Center director reports to the Deputy D/CIA for day-to-day management. The Center director has two deputy directors (at least one of the deputy directors is from an IC element other than CIA). The Center director will select Center staff and manage the Center's overall operations.

"e. The Center's budget will remain a separate expenditure center within the CIA Program, and it may not be taxed or reprogrammed without DNI approval."

Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Public Affairs Office. "Senior Leadership Positions Announced." ODNI News Release No. 7-05. Washington, DC: 7 Dec. 2005. Available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2005/12/odni120705.html.

Eliot A. Jardines, Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Source, "is responsible for developing strategic direction, establishing policy and managing fiscal resources for open source exploitation for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)."

O'Harrow, Robert, Jr. "Even Spies Go to Trade Conferences." Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2008, D1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The reporter visits the "trade show and conference" organized by the O/DNI "to promote using open sources of information such as the Internet and television broadcasts as part of the intelligence process.... The heavy presence of contractors, both in the exhibition halls and seminar rooms, also shows the growing reliance on the private sector."

Sands, Amy. "Integrating Open Sources into Transnational Threat Assessments." In Transforming U.S. Intelligence, eds Jennifer E. Sims and Burton L. Gerber, 63-78. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2005.

Steele, Robert David [multiple items on open source and intelligence reform].

Thompson, Clive. "Open-Source Spying." New York Times, 3 Dec. 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"When the intelligence services were computerized in the '90s, they ... digitally replicated their cold-war divisions -- each one building a multimillion-dollar system that allowed the agency to share information internally but not readily with anyone outside." Dale Meyerrose, the DNI's chief information officer, has "the daunting task of developing mechanisms to allow the various agencies' aging and incompatible systems to swap data." The article also discusses the use of such approaches to information sharing in the intelligence community as Intelink, Intellipedia, wikis, and blogs.

U.S. Department of the Army. Open Source Intelligence. FMI [Field Manual Interim] 2-22.9. Washington, DC: Headquarter, Department of the Army, Dec. 2006.

"This manual expedites delivery of doctrine ... approved for immediate use in training and operations. The manual facilitates a common understanding of Army open source intelligence (OSINT) operations. As interim doctrine, it serves as a catalyst for analysis and development of Army OSINT training, concepts, materiel, and force structure. It brings Army intelligence doctrine in line with the characterization of OSINT as an intelligence discipline in Joint Publication 2-0."

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