Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) refers to the practice of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information that is publicly available and legally obtainable. This type of intelligence is gathered from a variety of sources, including the internet, social media, newspapers, and government documents, among others. OSINT plays a critical role in providing decision-makers with the information they need to make informed decisions, and it has a wide range of applications in both the public and private sectors.
The concept of OSINT can be traced back to the early 20th century, when governments and military organizations began using open sources to gather information about potential adversaries. However, it wasn’t until the end of the Cold War and the proliferation of the internet that OSINT really began to take off. With the explosion of information available online, the ability to gather and analyze data from open sources became increasingly important for a wide range of organizations.