Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is information collected from publicly available sources. In the intelligence community, the term "open" refers to overt, publicly available sources (as opposed to covert or clandestine sources).

OSINT includes all publicly accessible sources of information, such as:

  • Media: newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and computer-based information.

  • Web-based communities and user-generated content: social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, etc.

  • Public data: government reports, official data such as budgets, demographics, hearings, legislative debates, press conferences, speeches, marine, and aeronautical safety warnings, environmental impact statements and contract awards.

  • Observation and reporting: amateur airplane spotters, radio monitors and satellite observers among many others have provided significant information not otherwise available. The availability of worldwide satellite photography, often of high resolution, on the Web (e.g., Google Earth) has expanded open-source capabilities into areas formerly available only to major intelligence services.

  • Professional and academic (including grey literature): conferences, symposiums, professional associations, academic papers, and subject matter experts.

  • Deep Web - Information, hidden from the Surface web, currently estimated to represent the majority of content on the Web.