21ST CENTURY OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT UTILIZATION
Horos, Andrew J.
Aten, Kathryn J.
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American law enforcement relies heavily on open-source intelligence (OSINT) to effectively protect the citizens and communities that they serve. Because of technological advancements, this form of intelligence has rapidly evolved, making it difficult for law enforcement to efficiently collect, analyze, and disseminate this information. This thesis reviews current law enforcement use of open-source intelligence and conducts a case study on the use of open-source intelligence prior to and during the initial Ukraine invasion by Russian military forces. The research identifies social media open-source intelligence as the most heavily relied-upon form and a lack of collection standards, low public sentiment, and law enforcement culture as obstacles to its full potential use. Unprecedented crowdsourcing and high positive public sentiment toward Ukraine during the invasion were highlighted as key factors to success in defending against invading Russian forces. Forming a national OSINT standards committee, improving public sentiment to encourage public crowdsourcing, and forming a national OSINT database would increase law enforcement open-source intelligence effectiveness.
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