Open source platforms can be used by criminals to instigate or conduct illegal activity and by terrorists to recruit and encourage new members, disseminate violent extremist messaging through video or documents, coordinate activities, and claim responsibility for attacks around the world. As such, law enforcement and analytic personnel should understand the uses of social media and be aware of social media tools that can be used to document criminal and terrorist activity. A wide variety of open source analysis tools—both no-cost and paid—is available to public and private sector organizations, including law enforcement and analytic personnel, and the technology continues to evolve. ROSA tools that access only publicly available information and are capable of searching multiple platforms simultaneously are assets for maximizing efficiency during authorized uses by law enforcement and analytic personnel.
TC 2-50.5 replaces FM 34-8-2, dated 1 May 1998. This publication does not replace the fundamental principles and tactics, techniques, and procedures contained in the other FM 2-series manuals; however, it does focus on their application. It is to be used in conjunction with the other FM 2-series manuals and conforms to the overarching doctrinal concepts presented in FM 3-0 and FM 2-0. The target audience for this manual is the intelligence officers serving as the G-2/S-2 and their staffs— intelligence warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, and junior enlisted Soldiers. TC 2-50.5 applies to the Active Army, the Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and the U.S. Army Reserve, unless otherwise stated.
Open Source Center brief on Advanced Googling for Senior Executives, Open Source Academy, September 2009.
Open Source Center Digital Audio Video Enterprise Brochure, December 3, 2008.
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.
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. “