The Open Source Agency (OSA) was first proposed by Robert Steele to the Open Source Council in 1992, as an Open Source Center outside the wire. The rationale was that best in class sources would change constantly, and access was needed to all information in all languages all the time. CIA and MITRE conspired to substitute instead the Open Source Information System (OSIS), a still-anemic unproductive system with limited sources and no analytic tool-kit worthy of the name.
On this history, see:
Despite the history of opposition, and the fact that the CIA's Open Source Center (OSC) today only deals with eleven countries on a more or less regular basis, while going through the motions with others, a robust multinational network has been developed over time that includes at least 90 countries, some of which have made gains in harnessing the eight tribes of intelligence, some not. The Nordics, and especially Sweden, have been especially effective, at furthering the concept of M4IS2 (multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information-sharing and sense-making).
On this progress, see:
Historic Contributions (246)
There remains a need for an Open Source Agency (OSA) that is under diplomatic auspices as suggested by Dr. Joe Markowitz and endorsed by Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02) and Robert Steele, both writing and speaking on this over the years. Below are some references that bear directly on the need for and the means by which an OSA might be created.