Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is data collected from publicly available sources to be used in an intelligence context.In the intelligence community, the term “open” refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or clandestine sources). It is not related to open-source software or collective intelligence.

OSINT under one name or another has been around for hundreds of years. With the advent of instant communications and rapid information transfer, a great deal of actionable and predictive intelligence can now be obtained from public, unclassified sources.

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