Open source intelligence and open source intelligence information definition

According to U.S. public law, open source intelligence is: produced from publicly available information; collected, analyzed, and disseminated to appropriate audiences in a timely manner; and meets specified intelligence requirements.

Crucially, open source information is not limited to what can be found using major search engines. The webpages and other resources you can find using Google certainly constitute a great source of open source information, but they are not the only ones.

First, a large portion of the internet, the deep web (more than 99 percent, according to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt), cannot be found using major search engines.

This so-called "deep web" is the vast amount of websites, databases, files, and more that (for various reasons, including the presence of landing pages or paywalls) cannot be indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other search engines. Nonetheless, much of the deep web can be considered open source because it is readily available to the public. Additionally, there is a lot of freely accessible information online that can be found using online tools other than traditional search engines.

Information may also be considered open source if it:

1. Publishing or broadcasting for a public audience (e.g., news media content)

2. Available to the public upon request (e.g., census data)

3. Open to the public by subscription or purchase (e.g., trade journals)

4. Can be seen or heard by any casual observer

5. Available at meetings open to the public

6. Obtained by visiting any place or participating in any event open to the public

What is truly unimaginable is the amount of information in open source intelligence, which is growing far faster than anyone can hope to keep up with. Even if we narrow the field down to a single source of information, say Twitter, there are hundreds of millions of new data every day.

As has been gathered, this is an inherent tradeoff of open source intelligence. As an intelligence analyst, having such a wealth of information is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, there's access to just about anything you might need. But on the other hand, you have to be able to find it in the never-ending torrent of data.

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