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of a handful of military OSINT teams that are truly on the bleeding edge of accomplishment and global access (analog & unpublished as well as the obvious).
Arno Reuser is one of the handful of multinational kindred spirits who created the international Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) movement that kicked off in 1992 and is now morphing into Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2).
Arno Reuser, one of a tiny handful of lifetime leaders of the new disciplines of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and its public service manifestation, Public Intelligence in the service of Collective Intelligence, contributed the below piece in 2008. It is a standard reference. Below is the summary followed by a link to the full-text article online. Summary: Searching for information in order to solve somebody's information problem requires a wide range of skills, methods, capabilities, and knowledge of sources. In other words, it requires strategy and tactics. Unfortunately, many customers think that a simple connection to the Internet and one general-purpose search engine is more than enough to do the trick. Luckily, the well-framed end user knows better, but librarians are often challenged by budget holders and higher management to explain why the Internet is not the ultimate solution for every conceivable information problem. To confront this challenge, the author presents six simple aspects of Internet bias: 1. The Internet is not international. 2. The Internet is not easy. 3. The Internet is not just Google. 4. The Internet is not large. 5. The Internet is not objective. 6. The Internet is not anonymous. Skilled librarians or information professionals can outperform the Internet in many occasions. In the information world, librarians rule. The problem is, they are too modest.
Mr. Arno Reuser, Arno the Curious, is a Master Librarian who has done more for the practice of Open Source Inteligence (OSINT) in support of national security than anyone else in Europe. He has been a pioneer in the explotiation of badly-delivered OSINT from private sector vendors, writing original PERL programs to make sense of their feeds; he has known how to make the most of the Internet; and above all, he has known how to find and engage human intellects around the world, each capable of producing unique tailored knowledge not available online or in print. He is the Master Librarian of the OSINT world and all seven intelligence tribes.