Categories
Intelligence Internet

Behind Walls or Out in the Open? The Challenges of Protecting and Sharing Information

Newest ISN OSINT Report

ISN OSINT Report 4/2010

In this year’s final OSINT Report Florian Schaurer and Jan Störger examine the prevalent classification and safeguarding procedures in place for sensitive national security information. They provide a synopsis of definitions, and cast light on the complex interplay between officially required secrecy and publicly desired transparency.

The report also addresses the implications of over-classification on the one hand, and authorized or unauthorized disclosures (‘leaks’) of classified information on the other, raising awareness in the interest of more balanced governmental information security and sharing.

Please find previous ISN OSINT Reports here.

Categories
Intelligence

OSINT Report 3/2010

OSINT Report 3/2010

In our third OSINT Report, Florian Schaurer and Jan Störger write about ‘The Evolution of Open Source Intelligence’.

The authors provide an overview on the emergence of OSINT as a special discipline during WWII and its growing importance as an essential part of modern intelligence tradecraft.

Drawing on tentative conclusions, implications for national security and current challenges are also discussed. The authors argue that intelligence must primarily serve national security, a public good, which can, however, not be addressed efficiently either by the state, or by the public alone. New threat situations require an increased awareness of the information distributed in the public realm and an inclusion of experts from beyond the government’s walls.

Categories
International Relations Government Security Foreign policy

The Consequences of German Decisions

Small button, big consequences / Photo: Steven De Polo, flickr
Small button, big consequences / Photo: Steven De Polo, flickr

After the German-directed ISAF air strike on two fuel vehicles stolen by the Taliban reportedly cost civilian lives, public calls for clarification are accompanied by both palsy and hectic in Berlin. Federal elections will take place in less than 3 weeks.

What often happens when things go very wrong is that people engage in speculation and search for a scapegoat. Too seldom though, we see people take responsibility, especially in politics. Clausewitz wrote that war never is an end in itself and always serves a political purpose. Imagine now a trigger in the hands of a German soldier serving in an army with a heavy legacy; an army from a pacifistic, self-traumatized post-war state, in which military planning, strategy and even tactics are subject to widespread emotional discussions. How much politics can efficient tactics bear?