I constantly encounter two issues:
First, the spies think that Wikileaks and everything online is OSINT, they do not factor in analog sources or even human sources that are not controlled agents.
Second, and related, they think that the best open source information is to be found within the government agencies, and do not consider external sources or what you call the “eight” tribes.
Is there a 3-7 paragraphs and 3-7 graphic primer for spy leaders willing to entertain new ideas?
I am sorry to say that because of the corruption of the US/UK intelligence communities, and their adamant refusal to be serious about OSINT — along with their deliberate repression of my work, we have NOT been able to develop an international OSINT network, and particularly one that engaged the lesser development countries that have been deliberately looted by imperial powers.
The secret intelligence community suffers from multiple forms of corruption including:
01 Neither the Executive nor the Legislative leaders demand decision-support
02 No one holds the secret intelligence world accountable for being stupid, useless, expensive, and a trouble-maker
03 It is easier to grow and hide a budget when it is secret
04 It is easier to blackmail Members of Congress when you can monitor them with secret sources and methods
05 Those who would benefit most from OSINT — the public and the front line managers in the various Cabinet agencies — have no say in how the budget is developed for the secret world and the rest of government.
The ignorance of the spies about OSINT is an obstacle.
I note your comment about analog. When I helped create the Scotland Yard OSINT unit under the leadership of Detective Constable Steve Edwards, an unanticipated benefit was that apart from radically reducing the cost of mapping networks of terrorists and arms merchants, it increased post-conviction confiscation by one hundred fold. The reason: Scotland Yard understood that global assets — real estate, boats, airplanes, art collections — are documented in analog not digital in most places. Only a human on the ground, examining actual analog tax or other records, can get to the OSIF gold.
In another example, CIA refuses to do OSINT properly because they think that engaging with humans who do not have clearances — and foreign humans particularly — will “reveal” their interest. They don’t understand that any secret question can be turned into a not secret academic or commercial or media inquiry.
SPY: I need to understand Chinese stealth technology including plasma.
OSS to Swedish company: find me a graduate student fluent in Chinese and working plasma stealth domain outside of China.
Swedish company to said graduate student: I have a client interested in a ten page report with graphics and photos, on the current state of Chinese plasma stealth.
And back it comes. Everyone is happy.
OSIF must be acquired by legal, ethical means. What most people miss, apart from leveraging the eight tribes shown below, is the reality any single country endeavor is likely to fail while a multinational endeavor is likely to be much more successful.
90% of what we need to know is not secret, not in English, not online, and not known to anyone in government. OSINT is HUMINT and 90& of the humans are not eligible for secret clearances while most of them are foreigners.
A related problem is the stupidly in thinking that because they have expressed an interest or caused OSIF to be collected, what they get much be classified secret right away, and never shared.
A primary reason for having an Open Source Agency (OSA) is to both provide a central service to all consumers who need unclassified intelligence that does not warrant use of secret capabilities; and to provide the secret world with an intermediary that can get anything in the world that is unclassified, in any language or medium, but with the caveat that the secret world gets a copy and cannot control (classify) the original.
In your related question, I can understand how government spies — particularly in under-developed countries — might think that government statistics and government reports are the primary source of OSIF.
This is sadly like the drunk looking for the car keys under the light because that is where the light is. A major challenge is the corruption of ALL eight tribes of information as shown below.
I am sorry to say that while there are many example of top quality academic research, commercial research, journalism, and so on, by and large all of the institutions across all eight tribes have become totally corrupt and very ignorant. This is particular true of “think tanks” that are more about advocacy for particular ideological or Deep State interests than they are about the truth.
No one, anywhere, that I know of, is committed to the combination of holistic analytics, true cost economics, and Open Source Everything Engineering (OSEE) that got me recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.
Indeed I can use an OSEE example, from Dr. Marcin Jakubowski, founder of Open Source Ecology and creator of the Global Village Construction Set that is all open source: OSEE costs 10-20% what the failed Western predatory economic model costs, with its 50% waste and 90% profit for the banks. Below is an example highly relevant to India: an open source tractor for ten percent the cost of a John Deere tractor — perhaps for villages that want to move up from using children and beasts of burden.
My final observation is this: until we have publics and leaders that demand that intelligence live up to its potential as a provider of DECISION-SUPPORT, we will continue to have spies that confuse secrecy with intelligence. A holistic analytic model must allow for Whole of Government deliberation about strategy, acquisition, operations, and tactics that take into account all threats, all policies, all true costs, all peer competitors, and all geographic and socio-cultural environments. Below is a simplified model followed by my original model for studying the preconditions of revolution and then my Whole World model. CIA cannot do these and I strongly suspect that RAW cannot either.
The strategic generalizations that I devised by using a proper analytic model with carefully devised degrees of difficulty for each of 144 mission area factors can be seen at the below link with two graphics provided here for convenience. No one, anywhere, does this degree of honest holistic analytics.
Below is military. See link above for geographic and cultural counter-parts.
My must current work on where I wish to go is below.
Note: Short URL for the entire series including new posts is