The Director of National Intelligence Open Source Center (OSC) is a United States government intelligence center that provides analysis of open source materials, including gray literature, through OSC's headquarters and overseas bureaus.[1][2] Established on November 1, 2005, under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, OSC is tasked with improving the availability of open sources to intelligence officers and other government officials.[3] OSC provides material to the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and other government officials through the online news service World News Connection.[2][4]

History[edit | edit source]

In the fall of November 1992, Senator David Boren, then Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sponsored the National Security Act of 1992, attempting to achieve modest reform in the U.S. Intelligence Community. His counterpart on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was Congressman Dave McCurdy. The House version of the legislation included a separate Open Source Office, at the suggestion of Larry Prior, a Marine Reservist with Marine Corps Intelligence Command experience then serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staff.

The Aspin-Brown Commission stated in 1996 that US access to open sources was "severely deficient" and that this should be a "top priority" for both funding and DCI attention.

In issuing its July 2004 report, the 9/11 Commission recommended the creation of an open source intelligence agency, but without further detail or comment.[5] Subsequently, the WMD Commission (also known as the Robb-Silberman Commission) report in March 2005 recommended the creation of an Open Source Directorate at the CIA.

Following these recommendations, in November 2005 the Director of National Intelligence announced the creation of the DNI Open Source Center. The Center was established to collect information available from "the Internet, databases, press, radio, television, video, geospatial data, photos and commercial imagery."[6] In addition to collecting openly available information, it would train analysts to make better use of this information. The OSC absorbed the CIA's previously existing Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), originally established in 1941, with FBIS head Douglas Naquin named as director of the Center.[7]

In a 2012 National Public Radio (NPR) report the CIA stated that the open source center was boosted by the experience of the Arab Spring and a desire to keep tabs on social media like Twitter and Facebook. Some of the open source information gathered by the CIA may be included in classified reports. Workers at the center also monitor "terrorist-related" social media sites. The CIA stated in a 2012 NPR story that when it discovered information related to US citizens, it gave the information to another agency; it is illegal for the CIA to monitor the activities of US citizens on US soil.[8]

As of 2012, the center was storing 'massive' amounts of data on a regular basis.[8]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Peak, Douglas. (October 1, 2005) Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin. DOD and the DNI Open Source Center -Building the Partnership. Volume 31; Issue 4; Page 15.
  2. 2.0 2.1 About World News Connection.
  3. DNI Press Release
  4. Other Public Citations
  5. See page 413 of the 9-11 Commission Report (pdf).
  6. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "ODNI Announces Establishment of Open Source Center". Press release, 8 November 2005.
  7. Ensor, David. "The Situation Report: Open source intelligence center". CNN, 8 November 2005.
  8. 8.0 8.1 CIA Tracks Public Information For The Private Eye by Rachel Martin, NPR, 2012 1 22

External links[edit | edit source]

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