Deriving Intelligence from Open Source Information


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The flood of Open Source Information requires a change in the way we generate intelligence. At the basic level it requires much more focus on using visualisation, sharing infomration and contextualising it in analysis, but also means much more attention must be paid to the interface with the decision maker. In fact, it calls into question the very basic assumptions of the need for a centralised analytical capability, and really requires distributed cognition networks that generate a society-wide reflection and debate on future risks and opportunities - after all, many of the greatest security risks facing developed nations are not ones that are best fought with tanks and bombs

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  • Myself: ex President of the EUROSINT FORUM
  • Deriving Intelligence from Open Source Information

    1. 1. Gathering Open Source Information and Turning it into Intelligence [email_address] Horizon Scanning Applied:
    2. 2. Scope <ul><li>OSINF: A paradigm shift </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the Intelligence Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the current framework </li></ul>
    3. 3. Key Conclusions <ul><li>Visualise </li></ul><ul><li>Share </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualise </li></ul>
    4. 4. Scope <ul><li>OSINF: A paradigm shift </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the Intelligence Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the current framework </li></ul>
    5. 5. Information is no Longer Power Source:
    6. 6. About OSINT <ul><li>Open Source Intelligence involves: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collecting information from open sources; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>analysing it to produce actionable recommendations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open sources include (inter alia): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media - newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and computer-based information (free or paying); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Official data – e.g. government reports, budgets, demographics, hearings, press conferences, speeches; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional and academic – e.g. conferences, symposia, professional associations, academic papers, and experts; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other sources - e.g. Commercial satellite imagery, weblogs, social networking on the internet, youtube videos. </li></ul></ul>Source: EUROSINT FORUM
    7. 7. Open Sources: Just One of Many? <ul><li>Seven major intelligence disciplines : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>human intelligence, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>imagery intelligence, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>measurement and signature intelligence, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>signals intelligence, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>open-source intelligence , </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>technical intelligence, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>counter-intelligence. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC®) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Open Sources: Not just Internet SATINT HUMINT SIGINT Classified Google Earth… „ ASKINT“… TV, Radio… Open … Satellite Human Signals
    9. 9. The Similarities & Differences A wide variety A wide variety Impact/speed is essential Accuracy is essential Vast quantity Limited quantity Many collectors/views Few collectors/views Can be wrong Can be wrong Open sources Classified sources
    10. 10. OSINF = A Flood of Information Source:
    11. 11. Hence the Challenges <ul><li>Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Information overload </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate response fire-fighting </li></ul>
    12. 12. Key Conclusions <ul><li>Visualise complexity to use the right brain </li></ul><ul><li>Share perspectives to minimise overload </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualise responses in the bigger picture </li></ul>
    13. 13. Scope <ul><li>OSINF: A new paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the Intelligence Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the current framework </li></ul>
    14. 14. The “Intelligence Cycle” Direction Collection Analysis Dissemin- ation Source: European Defence Agency
    15. 15. Why the Focus on Collection? <ul><ul><li>“ We have information coming out of our ears, but we just cannot analyse it. Yet governments persist in spending 95% of their budgets on collecting more information rather than filtering and analysing it!” </li></ul></ul><ul><li> A government official at the EUROSINT FORUM </li></ul>
    16. 16. The “Intelligence Cycle” Direction Collection Analysis Dissemin- ation
    17. 17. The “Intelligence Cycle” Direction Collection Analysis Dissemin- ation
    18. 18. Change Perspectives Visualise complexity: See a new viewpoint Source: National Geographic
    19. 19. Source: Parmenides Eidos Software Suite
    20. 20. Beware of Experts Working Alone Interaction to get the big picture Quelle: Vernetztes Denken
    21. 21. Source: Parmenides Eidos Software Suite
    22. 22. Look to the Future “ Fluid” scenarios to explore context Quelle: Vernetztes Denken
    23. 23. Source: Parmenides Eidos Software Suite
    24. 24. Push the Limits of Scenarios <ul><li>Group Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce “wild cards“/”black swans” </li></ul><ul><li>Play and playact </li></ul>
    25. 25. The “Intelligence Cycle” Direction Collection Analysis Dissemin- ation
    26. 26. Leaders have Mental Maps We must change a leader‘s map to impact decisions Source: ” Maps for sale“
    27. 27. Visualise: Right Brain Power Source: Global Stress Points Matrix Oxford Analytica
    28. 28. Share: Give Deciders Options… Source: Parmenides Eidos Software Suite
    29. 29. … And Let Them Choose Source: Parmenides Eidos Software Suite
    30. 30. Contextualise: Keep it short… Source: Jane‘s Intelligence Review, Country Risk Scenario Methodology
    31. 31. … in a language they understand! Source: “Le Courrier International“ So, lets recapitulate, we have the choice between attacking Luxembourg, Canada and the Maldives… Err… actually Mr President its Syria, Iran or North Korea. Who is next?!?
    32. 32. Key Conclusions <ul><li>Visualise </li></ul><ul><li>Share </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualise </li></ul>
    33. 33. Scope <ul><li>OSINF: A new paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the Intelligence Cycle </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the current framework </li></ul>
    34. 34. The “Intelligence” Cycle? <ul><li>“ Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results “ </li></ul><ul><li>Bill O'Hanlon </li></ul>Direction Collection Analysis Dissemin- ation
    35. 35. Why Scan the Horizon ? <ul><li>“ Luck is when planning meets opportunity“ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seneca the Younger </li></ul></ul>
    36. 36. But who should have planned? <ul><li>The key actors in finance: </li></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul><ul><li>Bankers </li></ul><ul><li>Insurance brokers </li></ul><ul><li>Hedge Fund managers </li></ul><ul><li>Parliamentarians </li></ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul><ul><li>Citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Security = Multi-Stakeholder & Public Planning </li></ul>
    37. 37. Long Term Loses to Short Term <ul><li>Elections in 5 not 50 years! </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbyists: why change unless forced? </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of revealing a problem (secrecy) </li></ul><ul><li>So: Build pressure with society-wide debates! </li></ul>
    38. 38. The Cynefin framework Source: David Snowden, Cognitive Edge Simple Cause and effect relations repeatable and predictable Complicated Cause and effect separated over time & space Complex Cause and effect coherent in retrospect do not repeat Chaotic No Cause and effect relationships perceivable
    39. 39. Financial Meltdown: Chaos? <ul><li>But is the current world chaotic? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time for tools beyond reason? </li></ul></ul>Source: Rex Babin, the Sacramento Bee We must break out of the box
    40. 40. The Ultimate OSINT? <ul><li>Make citizens your analysts </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the process public </li></ul><ul><li>Tap the Collective Unconscious </li></ul>