Committee sets goals for open-source info

The intelligence community has set strategic goals for how to analyze the constantly growing amount of unclassified, publicly available information for intelligence purposes.

The National Open Source Committee, whose members include representatives of the government’s intelligence agencies, announced four goals today for using publicly available data, which officials call open source. They made the announcement at the Open Source Conference 2008 in Washington.

The goals are universal domain access to allow for the greatest possible availability of the data, an integrated mission for its use across government, an increase in expertise in using open-source data and a governance model that ensures that its use aligns with the priorities of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Open-source data is information that is publicly available and legally obtainable, including pamphlets, Web sites, videos, white papers, news articles and academic reports. It has become an increasing focus of ODNI.

Officials also discussed the intelligence-gathering opportunities that new online media present, and they described a prototype system they are testing for tracking open-source capabilities and requirements in the intelligence community.

Officials say open-source information is useful as primary and complementary sources that can give context to intelligence gathered by people, by intercepting communications or through imaging.

“Three years ago, we were still trying to convince people that open source had intelligence value," said Douglas Naquin, the committee’s chairman and director of ODNI’s Open Source Center. “Now we just have to take advantage of these conditions and institutionalize the conversation so it happens regularly.”

Glenn Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection at ODNI, echoed those sentiments in his keynote speech at the conference. “Open source is one of those absolutely critical strengths that we must continue to develop,” he said.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.