Open Source Center

The Director of National Intelligence Open Source Center (OSC) is a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) intelligence center located in Reston, Virginia, which provides analysis of open-source intelligence materials, including gray literature, through OSC's headquarters and overseas bureaus.[1][2][3] Established on November 1, 2005, by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, OSC is tasked with improving the availability of open sources to intelligence officers and other government officials.[4] OSC provides material to the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and other government officials through the online news service World News Connection.[3][5]


In the fall of November 1992, Senator David Boren, then Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sponsored the National Security Act of 1992, attempting to achieve modest reform in the U.S. Intelligence Community. His counterpart on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was Congressman Dave McCurdy. The House version of the legislation included a separate Open Source Office, at the suggestion of Larry Prior, a Marine Reservist with Marine Corps Intelligence Command experience then serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staff.

The Aspin-Brown Commission stated in 1996 that US access to open sources was "severely deficient" and that this should be a "top priority" for both funding and DCI attention.

In issuing its July 2004 report, the 9/11 Commission recommended the creation of an open source intelligence agency, but without further detail or comment.[6] Subsequently, the WMD Commission (also known as the Robb-Silberman Commission) report in March 2005 recommended the creation of an Open Source Directorate at the CIA.

Following these recommendations, in November 2005 the Director of National Intelligence announced the creation of the DNI Open Source Center. The Center was established to collect information available from "the Internet, databases, press, radio, television, video, geospatial data, photos and commercial imagery."[7] In addition to collecting openly available information, it would train analysts to make better use of this information. The OSC absorbed the CIA's previously existing Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), originally established in 1941, with FBIS head Douglas Naquin named as director of the Center.[8]

In response to the Cuban Missile Crisis and START Treaty, FBIS was tasked with monitoring for clandestine and encoded messages from all nations and coordinating broadcast media contact points who could instantly broadcast urgent messages on "All Channels" and "All Calls" and mutually receive messages in all languages and codings from any foreign broadcast station. This task continues despite the Open Source Center's DNI reorganization.

The OSC is located in the Reston Town Center development in Reston, Virginia, in the former headquarters of the FBIS.[9][10] The construction of the facility sparked some controversy in Reston, a planned community, due to the presence of a chained linked and barbed wire fence surrounding the buildings. In the late 1980s, the CIA agreed to install a more aesthetically pleasing fence around the buildings.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Centers in the CIA". Central Intelligence Agency. December 30, 2011. Archived from the original on November 24, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  2. ^ Peak, Douglas. (October 1, 2005) Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin. DOD and the DNI Open Source Center -Building the Partnership. Volume 31; Issue 4; Page 15.
  3. ^ a b "About World News Connection". Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
  4. ^ "DNI Press Release". Archived from the original on 2006-07-19. Retrieved 2006-07-19.
  5. ^ "Other Public Citations". Archived from the original on 2006-09-04. Retrieved 2006-07-04.
  6. ^ See page 413 of the 9-11 Commission Report (pdf).
  7. ^ Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "ODNI Announces Establishment of Open Source Center Archived 2006-06-23 at the Wayback Machine". Press release, 8 November 2005.
  8. ^ Ensor, David. "The Situation Report: Open source intelligence center". CNN, 8 November 2005.
  9. ^ "High-Tech, Secure & Laboratory Environments". DNC Architects. Archived from the original on 2013-07-29. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  10. ^ Doug Naquin (2007), "Remarks by Doug Naquin, Director, Open Source Center" (PDF), CIRA Newsletter, Central Intelligence Retirees' Association, 32 (4), retrieved April 5, 2013
  11. ^ "CIA Scraps Plan for More Reston Offices". Washington Post. July 20, 1989. p. V15.

External links

Coordinates: 38°57′19″N 77°21′37″W / 38.9552°N 77.3602°W

Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Source

The Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Source (ADDNI/OS) is a senior-level position within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for developing strategic direction, establishing policy and managing fiscal resources for Open Source Intelligence, providing oversight for the DNI Open Source Center, as well as document and media exploitation for the United States Intelligence Community.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was an open source intelligence component of the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Science and Technology. It monitored, translated, and disseminated within the U.S. government openly available news and information from media sources outside the United States. Its headquarters was in Rosslyn, Virginia 38.8959°N 77.0727°W / 38.8959; -77.0727, later Reston, Virginia 38.955°N 77.359°W / 38.955; -77.359, and it maintained approximately 20 monitoring stations worldwide. In November 2005, it was announced that FBIS would become the newly formed Open Source Center, tasked with the collection and analysis of freely available intelligence.[1]

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OSINT under one name or another has been around for hundreds of years. With the advent of instant communications and rapid information transfer, a great deal of actionable and predictive intelligence can now be obtained from public, unclassified sources.


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World News Connection was a compilation of current international news translated into the English language. The United States Department of Commerce National Technical Information Service compiled and distributed it from non-U.S. media sources, usually within 24–72 hours from the time of the original publication or broadcast.

It provided the full text of newspaper articles, television and radio broadcasts, online sources, conference proceedings, periodicals, and non-classified technical reports. This information was collected and translated to aid decision makers at the highest levels of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. Government who needed to know what was happening abroad and how it was being reported locally. WNC was especially useful for access to local thoughts and perceptions for those who didn't know the local language. It covered 130 countries, including many out of the way places not generally covered by other news services. It also contained news analyses by OSC specialists.World News Connection was the online offering from the Open Source Center (OSC) (formerly the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)) that replaced the hard-copy regionally oriented "pink books" that used to be published. Due to a shift in the 1990s toward copyright compliance, the online version was a limited rendition (about half) of what is available for internal government use.

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