Open Source Center

2005 - 2006

Materials presented in chronological order.

Burger, Timothy J. "Opening Up the CIA." Time, 15 Aug. 2005, 19.

"Senior intelligence officials tell TIME that CIA Director Porter Goss plans to launch by Oct. 1 an 'open source' unit that will greatly expand on the work of the respected but cash-strapped office that currently translates foreign-language broadcasts and documents like declarations by extremist clerics. The budget, which could be in the ballpark of $100 million, is to be carefully monitored by John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who discussed the new division with Goss in a meeting late last month."

Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Public Affairs Office. "ODNI Announces Establishment of Open Source Center." ODNI News Release No. 6-05. Washington, DC: 8 Nov. 2005. []

On 8 November 2005, DNI John D. Negroponte and DCIA Porter J. Goss announced the creation of the DNI Open Source Center.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Public Affairs Staff. "DNI and D/CIA Announce Establishment of the DNI Open Source Center." 8 Nov. 2005. []

[Text] "The Director of National Intelligence, John D. Negroponte, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Porter J. Goss, today announced the creation of the DNI Open Source Center (OSC) based at CIA, effective 1 November 2005.

"DCIA Porter Goss, who will administer the Center on behalf of the DNI, said, 'The DNI Open Source Center represents a major strategic initiative and commitment to the value we place on openly available information.'

"The Center will build on the established expertise of the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) -- an organization that enjoys a long history of providing the US government highly valued open source products and services. The Center's functions will include collection, analysis and research, training, and information technology management to facilitate government-wide access and use.

"The Center's director will be Douglas J. Naquin, a senior CIA manager with extensive experience in the open source and information technology fields. Mr. Naquin most recently served as the Director of FBIS. He will be assisted by two deputies: one will focus on the Center's day-to-day operations; the other will be responsible for Community Integration. The Center's director will report directly to the CIA Deputy Director in executing strategy, policy, and program guidance established by the DNI through his Assistant Deputy Director for Intelligence for Open Source."

Shrader, Katherine. "New U.S. Intel Center Studies Free Secrets." Associated Press, 8 Nov. 2005. []

At a briefing on 8 November 2005, the director of the newly established Open Source Center, Douglas Naquin, "said the center will build upon the office he headed for the last three years -- the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service, which was established in 1941, before even the agency, to collect Axis broadcasts.... Rather than being tucked deep into the CIA hierarchy, the new center will report to the CIA director and work with all 15 spy agencies and a number of other government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services."

Glasser, Susan B. "Probing Galaxies of Data for Nuggets: FBIS Is Overhauled and Rolled Out to Mine the Web's Open-Source Information Lode." Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2005, A35. []

The DNI's Open Source Center is "hosting Web logs with the latest information" on a range of topics. "The blogs are posted on an unclassified, government-wide Web site."

Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Public Affairs Office. "Senior Leadership Positions Announced." ODNI News Release No. 7-05. Washington, DC: 7 Dec. 2005. Available at:

Eliot A. Jardines, Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Source, "is responsible for developing strategic direction, establishing policy and managing fiscal resources for open source exploitation for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)."

Martin, David. "Secret Information In Plain Sight." CBS News, 10 Jan. 2006. []

"Elliot Jardines is th[e] United States' first director for open source intelligence.... Despite the secrecy most intelligence operations work under..., Jardines' department is different because the information his team finds is publicly available. Jardines adds that Web pages, books, periodicals, TV news, radio, blogs, graffiti and bumper stickers yield useful intelligence. Douglas Naquin runs the day-to-day monitoring of everything from Arab satellite networks to the latest from Cuba. Naquin tells Martin that he can access 500 stations at any one time and 20,000 total. The department has three video libraries, a total of 24,000 tapes and DVDs."

Shannon, Elaine, and Jay Carney. "10 Questions for Karen Hughes." Time, 20 Feb. 2006, 8.

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes is quoted as saying, "if we walked down [to the State Department's new media-monitoring unit], you's see live what's happening on Arab TV. We have a young man who's watching the blogs, the Web chats.... That unit publishes a daily rapid-response report. It goes to all the Cabinet secretaries and all our ambassadors."

Clark comment: This illustrates one of the problems the Open Source Center will face. Whether a proliferation of small units performing overlapping open-source functions is the best use of limited resources is open to debate.

Ackerman, Robert K. "Intelligence Center Mines Open Sources." Signal, Mar. 2006. []

This is a lengthy look at the Open Source Center. The OSC "has absorbed the old Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)," but "exceeds it in both scope and function." The article includes substantial comments from OSC Director Douglas J. Naquin and Eliot A. Jardines, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for open source.

Gertz, Bill. "CIA Mines 'Rich' Content from Blogs." Washington Times, 19 Apr. 2006. []

Director Douglas J. Naquin has told the Washington Times that the new Open Source Center (OSC) "recently stepped up data collection and analysis based on bloggers worldwide and is developing new methods to gauge the reliability of the content.... The OSC uses powerful computers and software technology to 'sift' the Internet for valuable intelligence. It also buys information from commercial databases.... The OSC is doubling its staff and bringing in material from 32 government agencies that also produce unclassified reports."

Strohm, Chris. "Lawmaker Calls for CIA Center to Become Independent Agency.", 7 Jun. 2006. []

Speaking on 7 June 2006 at a forum in Washington hosted by LexisNexis, House Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee Chairman Rob Simmons (R-CT) "said the Open Source Center at Langley, Va., should be turned into an independent agency." He added that "the use of this type of intelligence should be considered its own discipline within the intelligence community.... 'I think they need more independence to reach the level that I think they need to reach for this discipline to survive and prosper.'"

Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "National Open Source Enterprise." Intelligence Community Directive Number 301 [ICD 301]. Washington, DC: 11 Jul. 2006. Available at:

ICD 301 establishes DNI "policy and specifies responsibilities for the oversight. management, and implementation of IC open source activities." It "recognizes and establishes the roles and responsibilities of the Assistant Deputy DNI for Open Source (ADDNI/OS), the DNI Open Source Center (the Center). and the IC to ensure efficient and effective use of open source information and analysis.... Open source strategy development, programmatic oversight, and evaluation will be centralized under the ADDNI/OS. Open source activities will be executed in a distributed manner....

"DNI Open Source Center and D/CIA as Executive Agent

"a. The Center serves to advance the IC's exploitation of open source material and nurtures acquisition, procurement, analysis, dissemination, and sharing of open source information, products, and services throughout the USG.

"b. Under the overall guidance of the DNI, the D/CIA serves as the DNI's Executive agent for the Center, with day-to-day management delegated to the Center director and operating the Center under all relevant authorities available to the CIA. The Center director reports directly to the Deputy D/CIA in executing strategy, policy, and program guidance established by the DNI. The ADDNI/OS establishes open source strategy, policy, and prograrm guidance for the Center and other IC elements....

"c. The Center is established at CIA and builds on the former Foreign Broadcast Information Service. It will include personnel from across the IC and other USG organizations.

"d. The Center director is selected and appointed by the CIA with the concurrence of the DNI. The Center director reports to the Deputy D/CIA for day-to-day management. The Center director has two deputy directors (at least one of the deputy directors is from an IC element other than CIA). The Center director will select Center staff and manage the Center's overall operations.

"e. The Center's budget will remain a separate expenditure center within the CIA Program, and it may not be taxed or reprogrammed without DNI approval."

Aftergood, Steven. "Illuminating Russia's Main Directorate of Special Programs." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 15 Nov. 2006. []

The Main Directorate of Special Programs (GUSP) is a "Russian security organization that was established as one of the various successors to the former KGB.... In a neat bit of detective work, the Open Source Center (OSC) ... noticed that new details of GUSP's internal structure could be gleaned from official badges sold by commercial vendors of military paraphernalia....

"Allen Thomson retrieved images of those telltale military insignia and combined them with other published material to produce 'A Sourcebook on the Russian Federation Main Directorate of Special Programs (GUSP)'" which is available at:

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