OSINT – A Stroll Back in Time

In preparation for a recent speaking engagement we came across a paper written for the journal “Studies in Intelligence” which is published by the Central Intelligence Agency called The Scope of FBIS and BBC Open-Source Media Coverage, 1979–2008, written by Kalev Leetaru.

The paper examines the foreign language translation services of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (U.S.) and the Summary of World Broadcasts produced by the BBC (U.K.). Between these two publications there are literally millions of news media articles and broadcasts translated into English dating back to 1939.

Many current practitioners of OSINT believed that open source intelligence gathering started in 1994 when Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004. Not so, social media monitoring or (SOCINT) is just an evolution in the proud history of the practice.