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.