From OSINF to OSINT: Foundations of Intelligence Writing – Efren Torres

In the last five years, there has been a growing interest in Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT). However, while using tools to collect Open-Source Information (OSINF) is interesting, the real work takes place when communicating key findings to the consumer of intelligence. Flawed intelligence writing can send a threat assessment with the most sophisticated intelligence analysis directly to the bin. If the writer is too relaxed during a crisis (a terror attack or natural disaster), people could die, and company infrastructure could be impacted. If the writer is overtly alarmist during a situation that does not represent an impact, then the organization could allocate unnecessary resources. If the writer conveys biased information and assumptions as facts instead of carefully crafted analysis, this may lead to an intelligence failure. If the writer does not know the difference between a threat, vulnerability and risk while writing an intelligence product, this can lead to a series of mistakes that can result into a highly flawed intelligence product. Writing for intelligence is an art. This presentation will cover some foundations for writing intelligence products in tactical and strategic settings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learning how to communicate findings in a report.
  • Conveying uncertainty to the consumer of intelligence.
  • Principles of writing tactical and strategic intelligence products.

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