A different interpretation of “Open Source” in an Intelligence Analysis scenario that defines how GreenM3 works public data

I ran across the term Open Source Intelligence.

Open source intelligence (OSINT) is a form of intelligence collection management that involves finding, selecting, and acquiring information from publicly available sources and analyzing it to produce actionable intelligence.

This description fits what I have been telling others about the various data center sources of information. 

“If there is a public publication of information, we are open to look at and provide feedback on the value we see in the information.”

Which is a pretty good description of how this blog has been run, commenting on public available information.

The description goes on to clarify the difference vs. open source software.

In the intelligence community (IC), the term "open" refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or classified sources); it is not related to open-source software or public intelligence.

Sources of information are:

OSINT includes a wide variety of information and sources:

  • Media: newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and computer-based information.
  • Web-based communities and user generated content: social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies.
  • Public data: government reports, official data such as budgets, demographics, hearings, legislative debates, press conferences, speeches, marine and aeronautical safety warnings, environmental impact statements and contract awards.

We have seen helicopters flying over Apple data centers, and world wide maps of Google data centers.

  • Observation and reporting: amateur airplane spotters, radio monitors and satellite observers among many others have provided significant information not otherwise available. The availability of worldwide satellite photography, often of high resolution, on the Web (e.g., Google Earth) has expanded open source capabilities into areas formerly available only to major intelligence services.
  • Professional and academic: conferences, symposia, professional associations, academic papers, and subject matter experts.[1]
  • Most information has geospatial dimensions, but many often overlook the geospatial side of OSINT: not all open source data is unstructured text. Examples of geospatial open source include hard and softcopy maps, atlases, gazetteers, port plans, gravity data, aeronautical data, navigation data, geodetic data, human terrain data (cultural and economic), environmental data, commercial imagery, LIDAR, hyper and multi-spectral data, airborne imagery, geo-names, geo-features, urban terrain, vertical obstruction data, boundary marker data, geospatial mashups, spatial databases, and web services. Most of the geospatial data mentioned above is integrated, analyzed, and syndicated using geospatial software like a Geographic Information System (GIS) not a browser per se.

OSINT is distinguished from research in that it applies the process of intelligence to create tailored knowledge supportive of a specific decision by a specific individual or group.[2]

I wonder how much OSINT has started searching twitter and Facebook.

In the Open Source Data Center Initiative I anticipate we be using this type of description for what we will be doing.  Part of the challenge for the data center industry is there so much information out there, it is hard to make sense of it for an organization that doesn’t have a full staff of experienced professionals.

Here is where I got the idea for Open Source Intelligence.


Complimentary Online Seminar:

Real-Time Intelligence - Exploit Open Source Multimedia

Online Seminar

Real-Time Intelligence - Exploit Open Source Multimedia

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010
Time: 11am Eastern; 8am Pacific
Duration: 1 Hour

Hello Dave,
Al Qaeda uses online videos to recruit and train. Other terrorist networks use audio files to disseminate messages. China circulates propaganda via video. The Internet is exploding with multimedia; streaming video, audio, images, PDFs and more. Open Source Intelligence needs to account for and take advantage of all advanced media types. But how?
Learn how you can:

  • Capture streaming video for on-demand classification and detailed examination
  • Automate extraction of multimediaOSINT and all contextual data
  • Transform complex data sources into accurate information for advanced analysis
Please join this free online seminar and see a live demonstration of Kapow Technologies’ advanced web harvesting capabilities in use at US Intelligence Agencies, extracting from sites like YouTube, China.org, Al-Jazeera and MySpace.