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The DNI's Open Source Center: An Organizational Communication Perspective


The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD Commission) ceased operations on 27 May 2005, yet its influence reverberates throughout the U.S. Intelligence Community. One of the WMD Commission’s high-profile recommendations was to establish an Open Source Center (OSC) within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to ensure that the Intelligence Community maximizes the use of publicly available, foreign print, radio, television, and Internet news and information. Acting on the WMD Commission’s recommendation, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) established the OSC within the CIA on 8 November 2005. Establishment of the OSC indicates that intelligence agencies have struggled to manage public, i.e., ‘‘open source,’’ information available to support their missions due to worldwide increases in media content and diffusion of communication technologies. Authorizing legislation for 2006 for the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contained explicit references to the problems of managing open source information. The accompanying report to the DHS legislation stated: ‘‘DHS has no comprehensive open source intelligence strategy, despite broad agreement in the intelligence community that better open source intelligence will improve prevention capabilities. The Act establishes a ‘one stop shop’ within DHS for reliable, comprehensive, and accessible open source information and analysis.’’


Publication Information

Full Citation:

Bean, Hamilton. 2007. "The DNI's Open Source Center: An Organizational Communication Perspective." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 20 (February): 240-257. www.oss.net/dynamaster/file_archive/110802/98532478899216432d3d76e2f9d4…

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