Last month, the CSIS Technology and Intelligence Task Force – chaired by the new Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, released a report that calls for Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) to be elevated to ‘core’ intelligence.
Her task force concluded that the intelligence community must ‘fundamentally reconceptualize’ OSINT as a ‘cornerstone’ of intelligence and its relevance to all areas of national security. It must be placed on the same level of significance as HUMINT, SIGINT & GEOINT. The report even calls for a potential 18th intelligence agency – an Open Source Intelligence Agency (OSIA) – to be established to serve this need.
The rationale? In a world dominated by social media, no one can ignore data in the public domain any longer.
Quite apart from the obvious tactical intelligence benefits, one of the biggest attractions to such digital insights is how they enable so many other strategic and diplomatic priorities.
As listed in the report, some of these underplayed synergies include:
- Improved government-industry relations (by striking at disinformation and malign influence campaigns)
- Appealing to voters by addressing the true sources of ‘deep state’ opinion & hostility
- The Five Eyes community building shared projects from the ground up, rather than sharing finished intelligence. This is thanks to the unclassified nature of OSINT
- Inter-departmental communication. Why not query unclassified finished reports (both past and present) from across the government as an easier way to consume your own material?
For the last 10 years, Constella has been planning for this moment. A moment when governments and businesses alike recognise the multi-layered value of open-source data. We already provide a scalable, automated technology solution for capturing & illuminating digital content, conversations, and identities from the widest reach of the surface, deep and dark web.
When it comes to planning your strategic OSINT transformation, Constella Intelligence provides a suite of products & services to serve central government & law enforcement communities. Whether for criminal investigations, enhanced due diligence, pre-emptive R&D, or identifying at-risk persons and groups, we can help. Visit csis.org for the full CSIS ‘Maintaining the Intelligence Edge’ report.
To learn more about our products & services to help you accelerate criminal investigations, request a demo and we’ll get in touch.
By Lindsay Whyte, UK Regional Director at Constella Intelligence.