A new U.S. Army publication provides an introduction to open source intelligence, as understood and practiced by the Army.
“Open-source intelligence is the intelligence discipline that pertains to intelligence produced from publicly available information that is collected, exploited, and disseminated in a timely manner to an appropriate audience for the purpose of addressing a specific intelligence and information requirement,” the document says.
“The world is being reinvented by open sources. Publicly available information can be used by a variety of individuals to [achieve] a broad spectrum of objectives. The significance and relevance of open-source intelligence (OSINT) serve as an economy of force, provide an additional leverage capability, and cue technical or classified assets to refine and validate both information and intelligence.”
See “Open-Source Intelligence,” Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 2-22.9, July 2012.
The new manual is evidently intended for soldiers in the field rather than professional analysts, and it takes nothing for granted. At some points, the guidance that it offers is remedial rather than state of the art.
For example, “if looking for information about Russian and Chinese tank sales to Iraq, do not use ‘tank’ as the only keyword in the search. Instead, use additional defining words such as ‘Russian Chinese tank sales Iraq’.”
But the manual reflects the ongoing maturation of open source intelligence (OSINT), and it contains several observations of interest.
“The reliance on classified databases has often left Soldiers uninformed and ill-prepared to capitalize on the huge reservoir of unclassified information from publicly available information and open sources,” the manual states.
Classification can also be a problem in open source intelligence, however, and “concern for OPSEC [operations security] can undermine the ability to disseminate inherently unclassified information.”
“Examples of unclassified information being over-classified [include] reported information found in a foreign newspaper [and a] message from a foreign official attending an international conference.”
Therefore, pursuant to Army regulations, “Army personnel will not apply classification or other security markings to an article or portion of an article that has appeared in a newspaper, magazine, or other public medium,” although the resulting OSINT analysis might be deemed “controlled unclassified information.”
Somewhat relatedly, the Department of Defense this week published a new Instruction on DoD Internet Services and Internet-Based Capabilities, DODI 8550.01, September 11, 2012.
To empower new voices to start their career in nuclear weapons studies, the Federation of American Scientists launched the New Voices on Nuclear Weapons Fellowship. Here’s what our inaugural cohort accomplished.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ August 2023 pulse panel, 60% of public schools were utilizing a “community school” or “wraparound services model” at the start of this school year—up from 45% last year.