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.
South Africa, Military and Civilian Intelligence Community
IOP ’06 Under the general leadership of Minister of Intelligence Services Ronnie Kasrils, in partnership with an extraordinary collection of individuals across all elements of the South African intelligence community, and across all countries in the continent of Africa, successfully implemented both an open source software strategy, and an early warning and open source information sharing strategy. Their continental initiative, in its openness, low cost, and mutually beneficial architecture, sets the standard for multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information sharing (M4 IS).
When Nelson Mandela ended arpartheid and an integrated government was formed, the very best of the revolutionaries of color went into intelligence. President “JZ” Zuma of South Africa is himself director of intelligence for the ANC in exile and resistance. They inherited a brand new campus built by the previous regime, and the South African National Academy of Intelligence (SANAI) has proven to be both an internal and a continental asset. It introduced Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in the 1990’s, and understood far sooner than most that OSINT and the traditional secret collection disciplines have to interact “as with a DNA spiral” in the words of the Director General of National Intelligence at the time.
Representing Minister Kasrils at OSS ’06 was Brigadier General Gordon Mzwandile Yekelo, Director, Doctrine Development, Joint Operations Division, South African Armed Forces, who shared his views on “Continental Early Warning & Information Sharing: A Military Perspective on Deterring & Resolving Complex Emergencies.” Today, in 2009, SANAI is about to offer world-class training to the eight tribes of intelligence across all of Africa, and with integrity and persistence, may yet create a Smart Continent Of, By, and For Africans.