These are my words, reflecting what I learned in multiple funded trips to work with Dutch intelligence at various levels, and multiple conversation across various conferences I attended in Europe. This is more or less what I told George Tenet when he became DCI….to no effect, naturally.
1994 was a very stressful time in Dutch intelligence history. A scandal had erupted in which the Parliament was investigating Dutch intelligence intrusions with audio-video into the homes of specific Dutch citizens suspected of this and that. Parliament was so angry they threatened to cut all funding for all intelligence. Two very good things emerged from this:
Before Gutenberg, a book cost about as much as a small house. As a result, only kings and bishops could afford to own a book of their own.
This naturally led to the creation of shared books, of libraries where scholars (everyone else was too busy not starving) could come to read books that they didn’t have to own. The library as warehouse for books worth sharing.
Only after that did we invent the librarian.
The librarian isn’t a clerk who happens to work at a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.
After Gutenberg, books got a lot cheaper. More individuals built their own collections. At the same time, though, the number of titles exploded, and the demand for libraries did as well. We definitely needed a warehouse to store all this bounty, and more than ever we needed a librarian to help us find what we needed. The library is a house for the librarian.
We came across this while trolling for worthwhile new stuff on OSINT; finding none, we thought to post this as a reminder that the OSINT Wizard lives and works in The Netherlands, and is open for business.
Remember the two cardinal rules:
1. Governments are the beneficiaries of OSINT done by others, not the benefactors.
2. OSINT is the old new idea. It still needs development, but the new new idea is M4IS2.
Rumor has it that Reuser and Steele will be doing something together, very dangerous, very hush hush…..tell no one.
Dr. Ran Hock has done more than any single individual to educate both government and private sector parties with respect to the value of the deep web. He has single-handedly trained hundreds of individuals in the nuances of this major new intelligence resource base. Emphasizing individual analytic skills and common sense rather than arcane expensive and generally unproductive technologies, he represents the intersection of integrity, intelligence, and intuition in the service of all legitimate governments and organizations.
The blurb from Arno Reuser, founder and chief of the Dutch military open source intelligence division, says essentially that attending Ran Hock’s course once a year made him look smart for the entire year. Arno is a master librarian and a giant in the field, he is being modest, but this is the kind of praise that Ran Hock’s earns from the “best of the best.”
The search term brings up appropriate results, but the fact of the search gives us an opportunity to provide comment.
1) Nothing now being used by governments, and certainly not iBase or Palantir, both aging technologies that do not scale and have too many fat-finger handicaps, fulfills the originial requirements documents crafted in the late 1980’s.
2) The ONLY programs that have gotten anywhere close are COPERNICUS plus plus, and SILOBREAKER. However, both of these have been slow to recognize the urgency of integrating–fully integrating–capabilities that address each of the eighteen functionalities. Below is the list of softwares now in use by US Special Operations Command J-23 Open Source Intelligence Branch along with the STRONG ANGEL TOOZL and a couple of other things.
The global standard for multinational information-sharing and sense-making is in the process of being designed, funded, and distributed. If you think you have something relevant to that, generally only open source software will be considered, get in touch with any of the individuals above.
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.
Fortunately, most librarians have gotten used to the fact that the Internet is a tremendous boon to researchers and that free information is a fantastic idea. Sure, we haven’t yet reallocated our organizational resources to recognize this fact—our staff time is much more likely to be devoted to acquiring and messing about with purchased information than in making good information from our archives, our labs, or the web more easily available. [Emphasis added.]
We need to separate our value—the way we curate information, champion its availability in the face of intolerance of unpopular ideas and economic disparity, and create conditions for learning how to find and use good information—from the amount of money it takes to acquire stuff on the not-so-open market. We need to be quite clear that good information is good information, no matter how it’s funded. And we need to find creative ways to partner with those who add value to information and find sustainable models for the editorial work that can make good academic work better.
Phi Beta Iota: Researcher Berto Jongman is a disciple and most respectful student of the work of Alex Schmid and more recently, the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) practices of Researcher Arno Reuser, who leads one of a handful of military OSINT teams that are truly on the bleeding edge of accomplishment and global access (analog & unpublished as well as the obvious).