A good search at a good time. You should immediately dismiss all who equate OSINT with online searching and all who do not understand the difference between Open Source Information (OSIF), Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), and Validated Open Source Intelligence (OSINT-V). At least 80% of the relevant information that is not secret is not online and not in English.
The primary problem that persists among those who claim to be doing OSINT is that they have no idea what they are doing, and persist in treating OSINT as a Technical Intelligence (TECHINT) collection disicpline rather than a Human Intelligence (HUMINT) decision-support discipline. Here is a comment from the one senior military leader that actually “got” OSINT:
If one were to evaluate any national intelligence community but especially the wasteful and unaccountable US intelligence community, one would quickly discover that 80% or more of what is done at great expense need not be done, and that easily 80% if not far more of what needs to be known by decision-makers can be quickly and inexpensively addressed with open sources of information that are converted into decision-support, ideally with the application of M4IS2, not unilateral US citizens largely clueless about reality.
Despite over 800 serious contribution to the current history, theory, and practice of OSINT, most so-called scholars and most so-called practitioners remain oblivious to anything beyond their elementary understanding. See also the history of opposition. Good people do bad things. CIA had a chance to get this right in 1992, and fell prey to false claims from MITRE and RAND, the rest of the story is all negative.
The NATO documents he sponsored remain the only responsible treatment in the marketplace, but they are badly in need of updating. Meanwhile, a number of valuable handbooks have proliferated, but no one has yet put together a single foundation primer or a rainbow series, one color for each of the eight tribes, that provides deep connection points for the sources and methods of that tribe that can be cross-fertilized to the other tribes.
Below is the one serious treatment of OSINT in relation to the all-source secret intelligence process, followed by the only two books that responsibly address OSINT as it is NOT practiced correctly today within the USA:
2008 Open Source Intelligence (Strategic) 2.0 [Full Text Online]
Bean, Hamilton (2011). No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence. Praeger.
Olcott, Anthony (2012). Open Source Intelligence in a Networked World. Bloombury Academic.
Earth Intelligence Network is supporting — with your contributions — the crowd-sourcing of a new book, INTELLIGENCE with INTEGRITY: Enabling Open-Source Decision-Support, and after that would like to develop a series of monographs, again with crowd-sourcing, a rainbow series, one for each of the eight tribes shown in the new logo above.
Learn more at: Public Intelligence 3.1
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