Open Source Center

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The Director of National Intelligence Open Source Center (OSC) was the previous name of a U.S. intelligence center located in Reston, Virginia, which provides analysis of open-source intelligence materials, including gray literature, through OSC's headquarters and overseas bureaus.[1][2][3] Established on November 1, 2005, by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, OSC is tasked with improving the availability of open sources to intelligence officers and other government officials.[4] OSC provides material to the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and other government officials through the online news service World News Connection.[3][5] On October 1, 2015, the OSC changed its name to Open Source Enterprise and was absorbed into the CIA's Directorate of Digital Innovation.[6]


In the fall of November 1992, Senator David Boren, then Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, sponsored the National Security Act of 1992, attempting to achieve modest reform in the U.S. Intelligence Community. His counterpart on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was Congressman Dave McCurdy. The House version of the legislation included a separate Open Source Office, at the suggestion of Larry Prior, a Marine Reservist with Marine Corps Intelligence Command experience then serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staff.

The Aspin-Brown Commission stated in 1996 that US access to open sources was "severely deficient" and that this should be a "top priority" for both funding and DCI attention.

In issuing its July 2004 report, the 9/11 Commission recommended the creation of an open source intelligence agency, but without further detail or comment.[7] Subsequently, the WMD Commission (also known as the Robb-Silberman Commission) report in March 2005 recommended the creation of an Open Source Directorate at the CIA.

Following these recommendations, in November 2005 the Director of National Intelligence announced the creation of the DNI Open Source Center. The Center was established to collect information available from "the Internet, databases, press, radio, television, video, geospatial data, photos and commercial imagery."[8] In addition to collecting openly available information, it would train analysts to make better use of this information. The OSC absorbed the CIA's previously existing Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), originally established in 1941, with FBIS head Douglas Naquin named as director of the Center.[9]

In response to the Cuban Missile Crisis and START Treaty, FBIS was tasked with monitoring for clandestine and encoded messages from all nations and coordinating broadcast media contact points who could instantly broadcast urgent messages on "All Channels" and "All Calls" and mutually receive messages in all languages and codings from any foreign broadcast station. This task continues despite the Open Source Center's DNI reorganization.[citation needed]

The OSC is located in the Reston Town Center development in Reston, Virginia, in the former headquarters of the FBIS.[10][11] The construction of the facility sparked some controversy in Reston, a planned community, due to the presence of a chained linked and barbed wire fence surrounding the buildings. In the late 1980s, the CIA agreed to install a more aesthetically pleasing fence around the buildings.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Centers in the CIA". Central Intelligence Agency. December 30, 2011. Archived from the original on November 24, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  2. ^ Peak, Douglas. (October 1, 2005) Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin. DOD and the DNI Open Source Center -Building the Partnership. Archived 2008-03-19 at the Wayback Machine Volume 31; Issue 4; Page 15.
  3. ^ a b "About World News Connection". Archived from the original on 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
  4. ^ "DNI Press Release". Archived from the original on 2006-07-19. Retrieved 2006-07-19.
  5. ^ "Other Public Citations". Archived from the original on 2006-09-04. Retrieved 2006-07-04.
  6. ^ "Open Source Center (OSC) Becomes Open Source Enterprise (OSE)". Federation of American Scientists. October 28, 2015. Archived from the original on November 20, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  7. ^ See page 413 of the 9-11 Commission Report (pdf) Archived 2007-07-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "ODNI Announces Establishment of Open Source Center Archived 2006-06-23 at the Wayback Machine". Press release, 8 November 2005.
  9. ^ Ensor, David. "The Situation Report: Open source intelligence center Archived 2007-03-25 at the Wayback Machine". CNN, 8 November 2005.
  10. ^ "High-Tech, Secure & Laboratory Environments". DNC Architects. Archived from the original on 2013-07-29. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Doug Naquin (2007), "Remarks by Doug Naquin, Director, Open Source Center" (PDF), CIRA Newsletter, Central Intelligence Retirees' Association, 32 (4), archived (PDF) from the original on May 17, 2012, retrieved April 5, 2013
  12. ^ "CIA Scraps Plan for More Reston Offices". Washington Post. July 20, 1989. p. V15. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2020.

External links

Coordinates: 38°57′19″N 77°21′37″W / 38.9552°N 77.3602°W / 38.9552; -77.3602

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