OSINT - open-source intelligence - is as old as intelligence itself. In many ways, it is the foundation of all source intelligence.
OSINT is the application of an intelligence collection methodology to openly available information.
Producing open source intelligence follows the same cycle as the production of covert intelligence, namely:
- Setting the intelligence requirement
- Collection and consolidation
- Product delivery
At each of these stages, sub-methods are applied. For instance, an OSINT analyst will assess the source of information along multiple metrics, from historical track record, access, bias etc.
While some of these sub-methods are specific to the (covert) intelligence tradecraft, the overall intelligence cycle is very similar to any research project.
Whether you are a consultant, market researcher, journalist, think tank or academic analyst, your job is very similar to the work of an OSINT analyst. You gather discrete pieces of information (often online), you will consolidate this information in a document. Then you sift and extract the insight of value to your end client. Finally, you articulate a narrative to communicate those insights.
This approach does the job but it is inefficient and costly. Inefficiencies in the intelligence and more generally the knowledge industry are everywhere. From the mechanics involved with data gathering (e.g. copy/pasting) to the inability to create institutional knowledge that can be consistently enhanced and leveraged, the tradecraft is stuck in a technological stone age.
More importantly, this archaic approach hinders the development of data-driven analytics. Something I'll talk more about in a future post.
reKnowledge is making knowledge research more efficient by radically transforming how researchers interact with web-based content. We make capturing and consolidating information effortless thanks to our interactive web-browser add-on.
Using the reKnowledge web-browser add-on, the researcher can overlay their knowledge on any webpage while curating and building their data knowledge store with zero-friction. All the while, the add-on takes care of recording the source URL and takes snapshots of webpages to ensure full traceability.
Get in touch to find out more.