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OSINT Open Source Intelligence can be defined as the intelligence gathered from sources made available to the public. The idea is to turn this intelligence into tailored knowledge to be used during the process of specific decisions. For example, it can be used by companies to establish consumer trends and patterns, or even to find out if their products are being counterfeited or illegally sold over the web.

This research process is the opposite of covert intelligence which will instead make use of private information not available to the public. OSINT only uses intelligence from publicly accessible knowledge, making it a very ethical and efficient intelligence gathering method.

OSINT can be gathered through many public resources, including but not limited to:

PUBLIC DATA
Official government data, government budgets, demographic information
DARK-WEB DATA
Any data and information hidden on the deep web, also known as the ‘dark web’.
MEDIA DATA
Data from television, newspapers, magazines
SOCIAL DATA
Social networking sites
VIDEO DATA
Video sharing sites
ONLINE COMMUNITIES
Websites, forums and any user generated data, user generated content
ACADEMIC DATA
Academic papers, conferences
OBSERVATIONAL AND GEOSPATIAL DATA
Data collected from maps, plans, navigational data, worldwide satellite imagery and photography

To clarify with any confusions that might arise from its name which contains the term ‘open-source’, OSINT is not related to open-source software.