Open-source intelligence: The New Frontier of Digital Investigations
Today’s criminals are getting more sophisticated, leveraging advanced technologies like VPNs, proxy servers, and encrypted messaging apps to hide their illicit activity from investigators.
These innovations make it significantly harder for police to catch those who obfuscate their criminal acts. However, even the most tech-savvy criminals leave digital footprints, which are often traceable by investigators using open sources like social media and chat rooms.
As defined by the National Defense Authorization Act, open-source intelligence is “produced from publicly available information that is collected, exploited, and disseminated to an appropriate audience for the purpose of addressing a specific intelligence requirement.” OSINT data is derived from publicly available and unclassified information and is publicly available to anyone who knows where to find it.
The power of OSINT data in investigations has proved invaluable, which is why it is so important to criminal investigators, private sector financial and insurance analysts and news investigators alike.