1998 Hughes (US) Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) 1995-1998: Transition and Transformation

Government, Historic Contributions
FBIS Then and Now
FBIS Then and Now

The presentation by Kenneth Hughes of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) is historic in large part because it is the single instance of FBIS taking the rest of the world seriously.  In its new incarnation it deals with 11 countries and ignores the other 79 known to have Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) capabilities.  Mr. Hughes’ speech abstract is provided below.

Kenneth E. Hughes
Kenneth E. Hughes

In fairness to FBIS/OSC, it is not possible for those good people trapped in a bad system to overcome the cultural, historical, legal,  linguistic, and security constraints they are forevermore imbued with.  As can be seen by clicking on the FBIS logo, the “OSINT” that is produced is generally classified and always restricted to US Government employees and contractors.

This is one reason the Smart Nation Act provides for a separation between open source intelligence elements that serve the secret world alone, and open source intellience elements, such as those of the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, and State, that understand the vital importance of being able to share information and make sense on a multinational multicultural basis in 183 languages FBIS cannot get a grip on.

We advocate a Civil Affairs proponency role for OSINT “outside the wire,” and military J-2 proponency for “inside the wire” inter-agency and coalition information-sharing and sense-makingf.