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Open Source Intelligence

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The Open Source movement has established over the last decade a new collaborative approach, uniquely adapted to the Internet, to developing high-quality informational products.

Open Source Intelligence

  1. Open source Intelligence
    The Open Source movement has established over the last decade a new collaborative approach, uniquely adapted to the Internet, to developing high-quality informational products. Initially, its exclusive application was the development of software (GNU/Linux and Apache are among the most prominent projects), but increasingly we can observe this collaborative approach being applied to areas beyond the coding of software. One such area is the collaborative gathering and analysis of information, a practice we term "Open Source Intelligence". In this article, we use three case studies - the nettime mailing list, the Wikipedia project and the NoLogo Web site - to show some the breadth of contexts and analyze the variety of socio-technical approaches that make up this emerging phenomenon.
       
  2. Open source intelligence Wikipedia
    Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is an intelligence gathering discipline that involves collecting information from open sources and analyzing it to produce usable intelligence. OSINT includes a wide variety of information and sources:
    * Media - newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and computer-based information.
    * Public data - government reports, offical data such as budgets and demographics, hearings, legislative debates, press conferences, speeches.
    * Professional and academic - conferences, symposia, professional associations, academic papers, and subject matter experts.
      
  3. Open Source Intelligence: Private Sector
    DoD policy, acquisitions, and operations can be greatly enhanced and advanced through the use of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). Several aspects of post-Cold War politico-military issues lend themselves to an increased use of OSINT to assist DoD policy-makers, acquisition program managers, and operational commanders:
    (1) Contingencies tend to arise in lower Tier nations (per PDD-35) where U.S. classified capabilities are least applicable or largely unavailable. (2) Warning of these crises has not required classified collection.
    (3) These issues have required increased reliance on international organizations and non-traditional allies with whom information must be shared, which is difficult if not impossible with classified sources.
        
  4. Open source Intelligence 1/2
    In the world of spies and spooks, Open Source Intelligence signifies useful information gleaned from public sources, such as newspapers, phone books and price lists. We use the term differently. For us, OSI is the application of collaborative principles developed by the Open Source Software movement to the gathering and analysis of information. These principles include: peer review, reputation- rather than sanctions-based authority, the free sharing of products, and flexible levels of involvement and responsibility. Like much on the Internet in general, including the Open Source Software movement, practice preceded theory also in the case of OSI. Many of the Internet's core technologies were created to facilitate free information sharing between peers. This included two-way communication so that information could not only be distributed efficiently, but also evaluated collaboratively. 
     
       
  5. Information on Open source Intelligence
    Open source intelligence or "OSINT" refers to an intelligence gathering discipline based on analyzing information collected from open sources, i.e. information available to the general public. These sources include newspapers, the internet, books, phone books, scientific journals, radio broadcasts, television, and others. The term OSINT is unrelated to the term open source as that term is used in the computer software community to refer to programs whose source code is publicly available (and modifiable). OSINT should also not be generally confused with OSIF (Open Source Information) on which OSINT is based. OSIF is any information that is publicly available; OSINT is an analytically-
    tailored intelligence product composed of OSIF which is designed to answer a specific tasking or to support decision-making.

  6. Open Source Intelligence-Forbes
    Two crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The third collided with the Pentagon. But passengers on the fourth plane were alerted to the crisis while still in the air. They fought back, and the plane went down in rural Pennsylvania, sparing its intended target, the U.S. Capitol. In other words, the only hijacked airplane that failed to hit its target on Sept. 11 was the one where informed citizens were able to take direct action. It gave proof that our national security establishment is broken. A $500 billion per year defense department and a $50 billion per year secret intelligence community failed where a few brave citizens armed only with cell phones succeeded. This tragic event illustrates the way we must reinvent our national intelligence system. The threats we face don't lend themselves to pre-planned, centrally controlled government direction. 
        
  7. Open Source Intelligence Service
    Ohloh has begun a public beta of its service that provides statistics and other historical facts on open source projects. Ohloh describes itself as a resource for open source intelligence for thousands of open source projects. The company was founded in 2004 by Jason Allen and Scott Collison, as a way to provide more visibility into software development. Ohloh is backed by its founders and a small group of individual investors. Ohloh has been working on the directory for two years and plans to formally launch it next week. Ohloh plans to provide the database for free with an ad-based business model, but plans to add services for companies looking for analysis and evaluation of their own in-house projects.
        
  8. Open source Intelligence Handbooks
    Publication has benefited greatly fromthe continued collaboration between my staff and the staff of Open Source Solutions Inc. With the publication of this document and its companions, the Intelligence Exploitation of the Internet and the NATO OSINT Reader, commanders and their staffs will have basic guidance for the development of OSINT. The increasingly robust array of open sources available to all staffs enable commanders at all levels to attempt to satisfy their information requirements themselves rather than immediately directing Requests for Information (RFIs) elsewhere. This manual outlines a systematic approach to OSINT exploitation.

      
  9. Open Source Intelligence Be a Non-Violent Alternative
    Chris Messina and I were talking about how open source principles could be applied to national security and defense issues, and I mentioned that there was an effort for Open Source Intelligence. I also speculated that eventually information could be used as a non-violent alternative for war. At the time, I was basing this prediction on my own observations for how information could be used for non-violent conflict resolution. I hadn't really come across a strong intellectual argument for how this new media revolution & advances in communications technologies could actually help bring peace and security to the planet. This book was written by Steele, who is a former Marine Corps and CIA intelligence official -- and someone who has been advocating for Open Source Intelligence for the last 17 years. Steele writes, "information-sharing, exploiting all sources in all languages all the time, is the central tenet of defense in the age of information.
      
  10. Open Source Business Intelligence
    Jaspersoft is open source business intelligence software. JasperSoft has a suite of business intelligence products which is called Jasper Intelligence. Jasper Intelligence is a business intelligence platform which provides a web services based environment for reporting, data analysis (OLAP) and data integration. Jasper Reports is a java reporting library. Jasper Reports can create reports from 3rd party applications (e.g. SugarCRM), relational databases or data marts. Output Formats include PDF, HTML, XLS, CSV, RTF (Word), TXT and XML files. Microsoft Excel can be used to further manipulate the data if required.
      
  11. The New Craft of Open Source Intelligence
    The books are on sale at cost, mostly because I want to see them spread around, and so I encourage you to think about just buying them and using them - or you can pay extra at Amazon. I have just posted 9,800 pages of free information, the proceedings from the last 15 years of open source intelligence conferences. They're all available on my Web site in very quick and easy-to-use PDF forms. Last but not least, if you have to leave early, my e-mail address is bear@oss.net, and I would be very glad if you chose to get in touch. Let me also say thank you to Donna Evans. I think the World Affairs Council, together with the American Committees on Foreign Relations and Foreign Policy out of Carnegie are three of our most important citizen-driven institutions, and I'm certainly greatly honored, Bill, to have an opportunity here. In honor of the occasion, I left my grenades and live chickens at home. There will be no bloodletting. We're going to do a nice, easy-going brief. It will last exactly 30 minutes.
       
  12. Government Solutions for Open Source Intelligence
    OSINT, Open Source intelligence, is much more than newspaper clippings and Internet. OSINT involves all types of accessible, acknowledgeable and unclassified information sources. New challenges, particularly the multi-national cooperation among armed forces during combined and joined missions, call for an intensified use of information technology in the field of spoken and written language processing. Due to ever more comprehensive reporting in a wide array of different media, information volume during the last years has increased considerably. In our days, purpose-driven, focussed and just-in-time information extraction is indispensable. In particular, intelligence-gathering services can no longer be managed without the technical support of state-of-the-art information technology. Individual and non-automatic information extraction, analysis and synthesis become increasingly more expensive to perform and to manage. 
       
        
  13. Open source meets business intelligence
    JasperSoft on Monday is set to detail its plans to expand its portfolio with a suite of freely available server-based components for business intelligence. Last week, rival Pentaho released its own commercial-grade open-source business intelligence tool set. Several software companies are adopting open-source software and business models in an effort to unseat entrenched suppliers. Open-source databases, for example, are widely used, according to analysts. The Jasper Intelligence product line will include a server for generating reports. In about a month, the company is expected to release a component for doing analysis and then a so-called ETL product later this year for moving data between different sources. 
      
  14. ON POINT: Open-Source Intelligence
    Not according to Senator J. Robert Kerrey of New School University in New York. Speaking to a riveted audience at the GEOINT 2004 Symposium in New Orleans, Kerrey -who served 12 years in the U.S. Senate and was a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (otherwise known as the 9/11 Commission)- explained his misgivings about the value of obfuscation.
    During the Clinton administration, we had several opportunities to get Osama bin Laden," explained Kerrey, "but the administration said the American people wouldn't support it. President Clinton argued that, if we told the American people about bin Laden and went after him, that would only give him publicity. That was wrong. In this case, secrecy produced insecurity.
     
  15. An Open Source Intelligence Agency
    In its recent report, the 9/11 Commission adverts to the possibility of establishing a new "Open Source Agency" within the U.S. intelligence community (see the chart on page 413). But the Commission does not otherwise discuss the role or function of the proposed agency. The barest mention of such a new agency has already prompted some debate and conflict, beginning with a dispute over where the hypothetical agency should be housed, inside or outside of the CIA. Robert Steele of the private Open Source Solutions, who has been advocating increased appreciation of open source intelligence for over a decade.
     
  16. Open Source Intelligence at Forever Geek
    A guy comes into the office at nine in the morning. He powers up his computer and prepares coffee while waiting for the machine to boot up (yes, it's on Windows). Once logged in, he fires up Firefox and opens several bookmarked tabs, which include Bloglines, Google Blogsearch, Technorati and Icerocket. And he reads a couple of hundred blogs before lunchtime, noting down links and quoting several passages from notable blogs. This guy could either be a career pro-blogger or someone seriously slacking at work. Or he could be a CIA analyst. Welcome to the world of open-source intelligence. According to the Washington Times, the CIA has disclosed that government is increasing its activities in monitoring blogs and other new media for "rich information" that they are unable to monitor and mine otherwise.
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Posted on: February 5, 2008

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