Dec 13, 2007

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT): Issues for Congress

From a new Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, Open Source Intelligence (OSINT): Issues for Congress [27-page pdf]:

One of the key challenges to managing the use of open source is the absence of widely accepted measurements or metrics. Intelligence Community managers seek quantifable measures for day-to-day administration. Counts are made of the occasions in which open source analyses have been included in the President’s Daily Brief, one of the Intelligence Community’s most important products. Other products are published by the Open Source Center based solely on open source information and disseminated to intelligence analysts and outside experts. Use of the website is also monitored.

Inasmuch as open source information is used by all-source analysts in connection with information from classified sources, it is difficult to measure how much open source information contributes to a specific intelligence product. It is anticipated that open source information will increasingly be relied upon given its greater availability, the nature of issues that today’s analysts must cover, and the heavier emphasis placed on it by senior intelligence leaders. The ultimate metric for the Intelligence Community is, however, the quality of analysis. Today’s analysts work with the awareness that products reflecting ignorance of information contained in open sources will discredit the entire intelligence effort. This will be especially the case when intelligence products are made public and are scrutinized by knowledgeable outside experts.

(h/t Secrecy News)


mark said...

OSINT is good -very good in fact when you consider that most area and scientific knowledge is there - but it needs to be complimented by long-term investments in clandestinity to have sources in place 5, 10, 20 years down the road for tomorrow's hotspots.

Planting seeds beats wishing that you had an orchard.

Meatball One said...

Always the honor, Mark

Hugging is great. Being on the inside, it's the bomb. Combine the two - hey, true love baby.

-Planting seeds beats wishing that you had an orchard.-
Have you been thumbing through your gold leafed copy of the Book of Meatballs again?

mark said...

Heh. Such a tome would have a place of high honor on my shelf.

I'm not one to usually whore my own posts but in this instance, I'll make an exception.

Charles Cameron of Hipbone Games left a great comment on cognition at the Intel Ark/Exaflood post at my blog that I'd like you to take a look at, when you have the time. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Superglide said...

Hmmm, While I don't openly discount the value of OSINT, without a 'boots on the ground' spin for the analyst to grasp, what will he/she conclude from an office window along the beltway ? I've watched too many time how open source is used and abused.

Jeez, I hope somebody is clearing this stuff before it becomes 'intel' (wry grin).