Open-source intelligence (OSINT) must become the intelligence “of first resort” for the intel community, according to a white paper released by the Intelligence and National Security Foundation (INSF) earlier this month.
A top-line finding from the report titled “INSF Position Paper: Future of the IC Workforce” is that the intelligence community must take advantage of OSINT to enhance partnerships between private and public organizations.
“Moving forward, partnerships between all stakeholders need to be defined, open, and practiced,” the report says. “Collaboration must enhance government and industry actors’ ability to collect, analyze, and disseminate accurate information to decision-makers and warfighters quickly enough to be actionable.”
“As more information and data become available, partnerships need to grow stronger to achieve this objective,” the report says.
The intelligence community also needs to train its workforce to use advanced technologies, the report emphasizes.
“The IC needs people capable of using advanced technologies to increase the speed at which new capabilities are developed and delivered – particularly those that make sense of large amounts of information,” it says.
“New technologies to solve the ‘big data’ problem, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will not help unless the workforce can adequately apply them,” the report says.
Finally, the report calls out the need to balance transparency and disclosure in order to increase public trust in the intelligence community.
“The more the public understands about intelligence institutions, the value they produce, and the legal authorities (and guardrails) that guide their efforts, the more comfortable they will be with activities that cannot be discussed publicly,” the report says.