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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.

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.

OSINT Report 2/2010

OSINT Report 2/2010

In our second Open Source Intelligence Report, Felix Juhl gives an introduction to cloud computing and its security implications. He argues that appropriate risk analyses, proper service level agreements and professional provider management are key to building and maintaining sustainable cloud information architectures.

Jan Störger theoretically approaches the role of OSINT for the intelligence community. He separates Open Source Intelligence from Non-Open Source Intelligence both in terms of sources and the means required to collect and exploit those sources. Furthermore, he suggests a model that describes its potential usefulness for non-state OSINT contributors.

Florian Schaurer looks into the use of social tagging within enterprises, addressing the importance of accurate taxonomies for collectively allocating and making best use of a broad range of sources.

He also examines the theory and application of academic source criticism, claiming that even in the digital age with its unparalleled variety, velocity and volume of information, the methods developed by historical and related sciences for working with sources are still crucial and up to date.

The Report is available in German. See also the ISN’s further resources on OSINT.


New ISN publication: OSINT Report 1/2010

OSINT Report 1/2010

OSINT Report 1/2010

We’ve just released our first Open Source Intelligence report, OSINT Report 1/2010, written by ISN Head of Communications and External Affairs Felix Juhl, ISN Open Source Intelligence Analyst Florian Schaurer and ISN Head of OSINT Chris Pallaris.

OSINT Report 1/2010 covers topics such as long-term data retention, automatic translation, interactive analytics, intelligence validation and verification regimes, stratetic forecasting and information abundance. It presents key challenges and suggestions on how to best master them.

You can download OSINT Report 1/2010 here.


The ISN at the OIC

The ISN will attend the Online Information Conference 2009 in London 1-3 December. Consisting of an exhibition hosting over 9,000 visitors  from 70 countries, a conference and a show floor seminar program, the event provides an annual meeting place for the global information industry. The ISN will have a stand and our head of OSINT and strategy, Chris Pallaris, will give a talk entitled “The ‘Intelligence Potential’ of Corporate Libraries and Knowledge Repositories,” scheduled in the Libraries and eBooks section for Wednesday, 2 December, 12.45-13.15.

Chris will also give a talk on 3 December at the London School of Economics entitled Empires of the Mind: Information, Technology and the Geopolitics of Knowledge. Please see the event listing for more information.

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