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Open Source Intelligence(OSINT) in Transparent World

Author: Anuj Sharma
by Anuj Sharma
Posted: Mar 30, 2017

Business with information from "open sources" has grown rapidly in the past decade. Private companies that are not subject to any data protection restrictions, collect data on a grand scale- to the delight of security institutions of the EU and its Member States.

The definition is "Open Source Intelligence" (OSINT) as the acquisition of "relevant information from the systematic collection, preparation and analysis of publicly accessible data for intelligence purposes."

An "open source" is "any person or group "Which provides information without the right to privacy protection". Publicly accessible information encompasses "what is available on demand to the general public, legally viewed or heard by any observer, or made public at a public meeting."

Open Source Intelligence is defined by what it is not: Confidential, private or otherwise intended for a specific person, group or organization.

Prior to the information technology revolution, OSINT purchasers were primarily concerned with the left press and foreign news. They drew their insights from the press, the skimming of businessmen and tourists, and the collaboration with academics. OSINT specialists also complained that the major newspapers have fewer and fewer foreign correspondents as a result of their financial decline. However, this loss has long been balanced by the wealth of information from the World Wide Web.

OSINT turned into a writing activity for which it needs nothing more than an Internet connection, a web browser and a telephone. The rapid spread of (online) media and the fast graspability of research papers have the result that, That a large part of the information needs of a state can now be met by a comprehensive observation of open sources.

From the standpoint of the security authorities, this seems quite self-evident. From a citizen's perspective, however, the appropriation of personal information for purposes of "security" is problematic. The information that someone publicly opposed the war, participated in a demonstration or a friend who is known to be a "security risk" can be used at any time to the detriment of the person concerned. In the collection of information from open sources, the question arises as to who and how, or, in other words, the question of democratic legitimacy.


Open Source Intelligence is both strategic and tactical. Strategic information would be gathered on longer projects such as organized crime, money laundering or drugs. "Tactical" would be needed as quickly as possible: "Where does this person live and who are their partners?", "I have the first name of a woman and know that she lives in Manchester". "When will the next anarchist demo take place in Parliament?" If one believes in the NSY, many such "tactical" questions can be answered "surprisingly simply with some very simple tools".

The OSINT specialists of the police use personal search machines, which can access "address directories, public registers, electronic telephone books, e-mail and homepage finder".

About the Author

My name is Anuj and I have a keen interest in Intelligence services and communication

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Author: Anuj Sharma

Anuj Sharma


Member since: Mar 30, 2017
Published articles: 1

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