Future Challenges and Requirements for Open Source Intelligence
Results from a Horizon Scanning Exercise
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is a well-established, time- and resource-efficient method in modern-day policing. At the same time, OSINT is not immune from technological, legal and societal developments that affect the ways and contexts in which it operates. This paper examines the key challenges and requirements that OSINT as a policing capability needs to address to remain viable long-term. The results are based on a horizon scanning exercise con-ducted with operationally active OSINT-investigators across eight countries. Findings identify core application areas, new capabilities and essential innovations. Results further define the organisational, ethical and legal requirements enabling the integration of Artificial Intelligence into OSINT-investigations as well as the handling of ‘bad actors’ and citizens’ increasing privacy concerns. Collectively, the results provide vital guidance for police organisations and policy makers for future investments into OSINT-tools and practices.
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