Taking their cue from the CIA, almost every branch of the American intelligence community now has specialists who deal with open source intelligence (OSINT).
The crux of the open sources world remains the Open Source Center (OSC) that was set up at the end of 2005 by the CIA. Functioning as an interface between the various OSINT branches of the intelligence community and governmental customers, it is now well regarded in intelligence and government circles and claims to have over 15,000 users at present. The center offers analysis, translation and technology to the community as well as training in methods of gathering open source intelligence. It manages an Open Source Academy that dispenses courses to hundreds of officials from all government services and departments (the Treasury and State Departments, for instance). However, OSINT isn’t confined to operating in the headquarters of agencies. The OSC recently trained soldiers operating in Afghanistan and Iraq and has deployed any number of specific entities in the field across the globe. One of them is located in Florida and devotes itself exclusively to keeping watch on Cuba.
Elsewhere, the OSC has a network of international experts who analyze information contained in newspapers, television and radio broadcasts, data bases and web sites in over 160 countries and in 80 languages. In addition to providing around-the-clock translations and analysis of over 550 TV channels in the world, the center produces exhaustive profiles of the leading personalities in the media they cover, their background, local influence and political leanings. OSC also studies how the media functions in each targeted country, who finances them and press laws.
The OSC is presently seeking to form partnerships with universities that work on the cutting edge of these questions, such as Mercyhurt College’s Institute of Intelligence Studies, Auburn University and University of Maryland.