21st Century Open-Source Intelligence and Law Enforcement Utilization is a Naval Post Graduate School thesis by Andrew J. Horos.

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) plays a vital role in the operational strategies of American law enforcement, ensuring the protection of citizens and communities they serve. However, the dynamic nature of technology has brought about rapid advancements in this intelligence discipline, posing challenges to efficient collection, analysis, and dissemination by law enforcement agencies. This thesis examines the current utilization of open-source intelligence in law enforcement and presents a comprehensive case study focusing on its application prior to and during the initial Ukraine invasion by Russian military forces. The research underscores the significance of social media open-source intelligence as the primary information source, while identifying the absence of collection standards, low public sentiment, and ingrained law enforcement culture as barriers to maximizing its potential. Moreover, the study highlights the unprecedented success of public crowdsourcing and the positive public sentiment towards Ukraine during the invasion as crucial factors in effectively defending against the Russian forces. To enhance the effectiveness of law enforcement open-source intelligence, the implementation of a national OSINT standards committee, fostering improved public sentiment to encourage public crowdsourcing, and establishing a national OSINT database are recommended measures.

Publication Date- March 2023

21st Century Open-Source Intelligence and Law Enforcement Utilization contains the following major sections:

  • 21st Century Open-Source Intelligence and Law Enforcement Utilization
  • Background: The Evolution of Open-Source Intelligence
  • Case Study: OSINT Use in Russian Invasion
  • Law Enforcement OSINT Use
  • Findings and Discussion
  • Recommendations and Conclusion

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Author- Andrew J. Horos

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Post Image- Twitter screenshot of OSINT movement of Russian equipment prior to the invasion of Ukraine