June 03, 2004
Open Source Intelligence

Ming talks about Open Source Intelligence (via The Obvious):

.... what I think is cool about Open Source Intelligence is not just that it might make governments do less stupid things, but rather that it is equally available to the rest of us, if we organize ourselves well. A relatively small number of us could very well be more informed about many things than the CIA.
I guess the thing is: there will always be secrets. Intelligence will never be all based on openly available sources. There is a valid point to be made, however, for harvesting other, "open" sources, and as Ming says: "A large number of us, well enough organized, with good enough tools, could perpetually be better informed and more collectively intelligent than any government agency.". Interesting.

The jury is still out on what this whole OSS.net thing is, though. Having read the About page, I don't quite get it: they have meetups on meetup.com a la NGOs and all sorts of stuff, but what is it, really? Commercial intelligence? Please enlighten me.

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I suppose rss.net is trying to sell open source intelligence mainly to the traditional government/military intelligence community and also to big business. Not particularly to bring it to us regular folks. I had a few exchanges with Robert Steele years ago, and he joined one of my online communities. But I suspect that their interest in the more grass roots Internet goings-on are more for the purpose of gathering intelligence than for the purpose of particularly doing anything for the world at large.

Posted by: Flemming Funch on June 3, 2004 10:06 PM

Glad to see some discussion of OSINT and OSS.Net, but concerned that anyone should think the MeetUp efforts are for the purpose of collecting intelligence. On the contrary, they are an attempt to separate OSS.Net, my evangelist and marginally commercial website, from what I view as an emergent international possibility of self-organizing "bottom-up" intelligence collectives. See the Wikipedia definitions for "open source intelligence" and for "collective intelligence." If you have a little time, go over the reference portals at www.oss.net for both Collective Intelligence, where I regard Tom Atlee as the lead, and for OSINT, where I regard myself as the lead, having trained over 6,500 professionals from over 40 governments.

All of this leads precisely to the point that I think Ming is trying to make, and very correctly so: public intelligence keeps secret intelligence honest. Read "The OSINT Story" within the OSINT reference portal link and you will know me as well as anyone.

If you are in the NYC area on 9-10 July, I will be speaking at Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) at the Hotel Pennsylvania, and would be very glad to meet any of you. At 1000 on Friday I am opening with a 45 minute pitch on "Hacking National Intelligence", and at 2200 on Saturday I have an open-ended "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Spying and Didn't Know Who to Ask" that will begin with two lectures, one on "9-11, U.S. Intelligence, and the Real World", and then a second on "The Failure of 20th Century Intelligence" and then go on to Q&A.

Please, always feel free to scrutinize me, but don't ever doubt my motives without doing so. I have recently posted 9,800 pages of all past Proceedings from all of my international conferences on OSINT, and I believe that my public record since 1988 speaks for itself.

Please do consider going to www.osint.meetup.com and signing up for a local OSINT meeting that is intended to help bring together LOCAL cross-fertilizing groups from national, military, law enforcement, business, academic, NGO-media, and citizen-labor-religion--what I call the seven tribes of intelligence.

Best wishes to all, Robert

Posted by: Robert David Steele Vivas on June 29, 2004 05:18 PM

For all Robert Steele says he cannot even make a web page, go to one of his confrences and you'll see what a bunch of crap that is all about, he would not be able to get anywhere on his own, burns more bridges then anyone I've ever met.

Posted by: Josh on May 17, 2005 09:30 AM
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