Targeting Tomorrow's Terrorist Today
How do I know when I have OSINT? The simple answer is the analyst does not have OSINT until the open source information has been processed and analyzed, and supports a specific requirement. The specific requirement can be a tailored operation or simply answering a question. The analyst has to be very careful when it comes to distinguishing between OSI and OSINT. Open source information exploitation is exactly what the name implies, that which is gathered/collected from open sources. In general, it is information that is available to the general public without restrictions unless it is copyrighted material. These include newspapers, the internet, books, phone books, scientific journals, radio broadcasts, television, individuals, and other forms. On the other hand, OSINT is an intelligence gathering discipline that involves collecting information from open sources and analyzing it to produce usable intelligence, and there isn’t anything that says intelligence must be classified in order for it to have utility. In the Intelligence Community, the term "open" refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or classified sources); it is not related to open-source software. OSINT is distinguished from straight research in that it applies the process of intelligence to create tailored knowledge supportive of a specific decision by a specific individual or group.