The future of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is Multinational, Multifunctional, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing & Sense-Making (M4IS2).
The following, subject to the approval of Executive and Congressional leadership, are suggested hueristics (rules of thumb):
Rule 1: All Open Source Information (OSIF) goes directly to the high side (multinational top secret) the instant it is received at any level by any civilian or military element responsive to global OSINT grid. This includes all of the contextual agency and mission specific information from the civilian elements previously stove-piped or disgarded, not only within the US, but ultimately within all 90+ participating nations.
Rule 2: In return for Rule 1, the US IC agrees that the Department of State (and within DoD, Civil Affairs) is the proponent outside the wire, and the sharing of all OSIF originating outside the US IC is at the discretion of State/Civil Affairs without secret world caveat or constraint. OSIF collected by US IC elements is NOT included in this warrant.
I have never, in 18 years of OSINT advocacy, seen a more professional and intelligent endeavor to understand and report on what we are trying to do. This is absolutely world-class, and my admiration is unbounded. This creative individual has a lifetime free pass to our conferences. His technical, legal, and people skills are of the highest order.
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Kent's photo links to the ten video interviews he did at OSS '06, the last conference before it was stolen and consequently destroyed by an individual that broke his promise (one of several) and is fortuitously no longer responsible for anything of significance. All of the interviews are recommended, but then Congressman Simmons, now running for Senator in place of Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticutt, is especially noteworthy. No one in government has, in the twenty one years we have been fighting this fight, gotten a better grip not just on the idea of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) as a separate discipline, but on OSINT as a means of revitalizing American education, improving decision-support to every Congressional jurisdiction (most get NOTHING from the secret intelligence world), and helping the President and the Cabinet Secretaries manage Whole of Govenrment Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Operational Campaigns.
Among those interviewed that we hold in very high esteem are Michael Andregg, Carolyn Stewart, Mats Bjore, Ralph Peters, Robert Young Pelton, Stephen E. Arnold, and Peter Morville. There is also an interview with Robert Steele, who is not tagged within this website.
Below is a direct link to Kent Bye and a collage of clips from each of the people he interviewed. We consider this the single best most brilliant piece of citizen journalism on the concept of OSINT.
Below are the currently available links for audio only for all those interviewed:
Below links directly to the Simmons interview, use the photograph link above to select any of the others. NOTE: the video portion appears to have been disabled for all of them, you get audio only right now, we are working on this with Kent, it is vastly better to see these individuals in full multi-media form.
Wow–Core Reference for Large Scale Information Access,
October 20, 2005
Wow, wow, holy cow….I am rushing to finish up a book on Information Operations: All Information, All Languages, All the Time, and I am so very pleased to have gotten to this absolute gem of a book before closing out. Compared to the other 200 or so books I have reviewed–including such gems at ATTENTION, Real-Time, Early Warning, and so on, this is clearly a “top ten” read in the literature on information art & science.
Halfway through the book I was torn by a sense of anguish (the U.S. Intelligence Community and the beltway bandits that suck money out of the taxpayers pocket through them have no idea how to implement the ideas in this book) and joy (beyond Google, through Wikis and other collective intelligence endeavors facilitated by open source software, relevant findability is possible).
This is a truly gripping book that addresses what may be the most important challenge of this century in a compelling, easy to read, yet intellectually deep and elegant manner.
The author is a true guru who understands that in the age of a mega-information-explosion (not just in quantity, but in languages, mediums, and nuances) the creation of wealth is going to depend on information being useful, usable, desireable, findable, accessible, credible, and valuable (page 109).
Especially important in the first half of the book are the author's focus on Mooers (not to be confused with Moores) who said in 1959 that users will make do with what information they have when it becomes too inconvenient to go after better information. This is key. At the same time, he focuses on the difference between precision and recall, and provides devasting documentation of the failure of recall (1 in 5 at best) when systems scale up, as well as the diminuition of precision. Bottom line: all these beltway bandits planning exobyte and petabyte databases have absolutely no idea how to actually help the end-user find the needle in the haystack. This author does.
The book is without question “Ref A” for the content side of Information Operations. On page 61 I am just ripped out of my chair and on to my feet by the author's discussion of Marcia Bates and her focus on an integrated model of information seeking that integrates aesthetic, biological, historical, psychological, social, and “even” spiritual layers of understanding. This is bleeding edge good stuff, with nuances that secret intelligence world is not going to understand for years.
There is a solid discussion of geocoding and locationally aware devices, and I am very pleased to see the author recognize the work of four of my personal heroes, Stewart Brand, Bruce Sterling, Kevin Kelly, and Howard Rheingold.
Halfway through the book he discusses the capture of life experiences, and the real possibility that beyond today's information explosion might lie an exo-explosion of digital data coming from wired individuals feeding what they see and hear and feel into “the web”. The opportunities for psycho-social diagnosis and remediation, and cross-cultural communication, are just astounding.
The book wraps up with a great review of findability hacks, semantic tricks, and the trends to come in inspired and informed decisions. Like Tom Atlee, the author sees the day of collective intelligence enabled by the web, but I have to say, I thought I knew a lot, after reading this book I have the strongest feeling that my education has just begun.
This is one of those books that could help define an era. It is about as thoughtful, useful, and inspiring a book as I have read in the past several years. DECENT!