The Tao of Open Source Intelligence
The Internet has become the defining medium for information exchange in the modern world, and the unprecedented success of new web publishing platforms such as those associated with social media has confirmed its dominance as the main information exchange platform for the foreseeable future.
But how do you conduct an online investigation when so much of the Internet isn’t even indexed by search engines? Accessing and using the information that’s freely available online is about more than just relying on the first page of Google results.
Open source intelligence (OSINT) is intelligence gathered from publically available sources and is the key to unlocking this domain for the purposes of investigation.
The Tao of Open Source Intelligence provides a comprehensive guide to OSINT techniques, for the investigator:
It catalogues and explains the tools and investigative approaches that are required when conducting research within the surface, deep and dark webs.
It explains how to scrutinize criminal activity without compromising your anonymity – and your investigation.
It examines the relevance of cyber geography and how to get around its limitations.
It describes useful add-ons for common search engines, as well as considering metasearch engines (including Dogpile, Zuula, PolyMeta, iSeek, Cluuz, and Carrot2) that collate search data from single-source intelligence platforms such as Google.
It considers deep-web social media platforms and platform-specific search tools, detailing such concepts as concept mapping, entity extraction tools, and specialist search syntax (Google kung fu).
It gives comprehensive guidance on Internet security for the smart investigator, and how to strike a balance between security, ease of use, and functionality, giving tips on counterintelligence, safe practices, and debunking myths about online privacy.
OSINT is a rapidly evolving approach to intelligence collection, and its wide application makes it a useful methodology for numerous practices, including within the criminal investigation community.
The Tao of Open Source Intelligence is your guide to the cutting edge of this information collection capability.
About the author
Stewart K. Bertram is a career intelligence analyst who has spent over a decade working across the fields of counterterrorism, cybersecurity , corporate investigations and geopolitical analysis. The holder of a master’s degree in computing and a master of letters in terrorism studies, Stewart is uniquely placed at the cutting edge of intelligence and investigation, where technology and established tradecraft combine. Stewart fuses his academic knowledge with significant professional experience, having used open source intelligence on such diverse real-world topics as the terrorist use of social media in Sub-Saharan Africa and threat assessment at the London Olympic Games. Stewart teaches courses on open source intelligence as well as practicing what he preaches in his role as a cyber threat intelligence manager for some of the world’s leading private-sector intelligence and security agencies.
Buy The Tao of Open Source Intelligence for your guide to cutting edge information collection capability.
Taoism is a philosophical framework for seeing the world as a complete whole, composed of interrelated pieces - doubles and counterparts, if you will. Within the Tao worldview, these pieces reveal more of themselves when examined together.
While we're familiar with the notions of ying and yang, and how one cannot exist without the other, Taoism needs to be understood as incorporating 'correct action' to identify these interrelated pieces and how they fit together into the unified whole.