Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) is data collected from publicly available sources to provide the intelligence needed on a given operation. OSINT is also the process of collecting and analyzing of said data to produce a comprehensive understanding of an individual, collective, place, or thing. 

According to the US Intelligence Community, “OSINT is primarily used in national security, law enforcement and business intelligence functions. It is of value to analysts who use non- sensitive information in answering classified, unclassified, or proprietary intelligence requirements across all intelligence disciplines.” In the context of this manual, open-source refers to information that can be collected from the Internet, is within the public domain, and is available to be used in building an online investigation of a target entity, which may be a person, group of people or a company. OSINT is made up of, and built on many pieces of information, known as breadcrumbs. 

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OSINT Manual cover