OSINT operations are integral to Army intelligence operations. Directly or indirectly, publicly available information forms the basis of all intelligence operations and intelligence products. The availability, depth, and range of publicly available information enable intelligence organizations to satisfy many intelligence requirements without the use of specialized human or technical means of collection.
This site is in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall just south of the railroad bridge that runs beside Route 1 and I-395, approximately 2 miles northeast of the Pentagon. The site is comprised of 2 large temporary buildings, one of which has large exhaust fans on the roof. As of 2006, there were signs at the site for Kiewet, a prominent tunneling firm. According to a Washington Post article from November 26, 2004, the Navy controls the site and describes it as a “utility assessment and upgrade”. The article says that “theories abound about the four-acre complex, which is dead center in a ring that includes the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, Reagan National Airport and the National War College. Is it a sophisticated sensor station, guarding the 14th Street bridge and other Potomac River crossings? Is it an excavation point for underwater barriers to protect the Washington Channel and Potomac River from submarines? Is it a staging area for Navy Seabees securing underwater cables between the White House and the Pentagon, across the river?”
The Open Source Information System was an unclassified network of computer systems that provides the intelligence community with open source intelligence. As of 2006, the OSIS name was retired and the network and content portions of the system were decoupled. The network portion of the system is now called DNI-U and the content portion is known as Intelink-U. According to the Army Foreign Military Studies Office, “Intelink-U is a virtual private network — a government intranet. It provides a protected environment to exchange unclassified and FOUO/SBU US Government and other open source data among Intelligence Community and other selected organizations. The Intelink-U firewalls safeguard government information resources and allow customers access to both the Intelink-U network and the public Internet. This gives Intelink-U users a single point of access to an unprecedented amount of unclassified open source information. “