OSINT in support of the Defence Intelligence Enterprise (DIE) - part one

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This is a podcast episode titled, OSINT in support of the Defence Intelligence Enterprise (DIE) - part one. The summary for this episode is: <p>Robert Ashley Jr. former director of the DIA joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss the use of open-source intelligence in the defence intelligence enterprise and the opportunities OSINT provides to intelligence communities. </p>

Speaker 1: Welcome to The World of Intelligence, a podcast for you to discover the latest analysis of global military and security trends within the open- source defense- intelligence community. Now on to the episode, with your host, Harry Kemsley.

Harry Kemsley: Hello. Before we start this podcast episode, just a quick explanation that we're going to split it into two parts. So the first part, we'll play now, and then we'll invite you back to join us for the second part very shortly. Welcome to this edition of World of Intelligence at Janes. As usual, your host, Harry Kemsley, and my co- conspirator and co- host, Sean Corbett. Hello, Sean.

Sean Corbett: Hello, Harry.

Harry Kemsley: Good to see you again, Sean. So Sean, in recent times, we've had the great privilege of inviting some guests to us from some of the highest levels of intelligence community in the US, and I'm delighted to introduce General Bob Ashley to us this morning. Good day, Bob.

Bob Ashley: Harry and Sean, good to be with you. I'm looking forward to the chat today.

Harry Kemsley: Lieutenant General Robert Ashley Jr. retired from the US Army November 2020 after 36 years of active duty service. His last duty position was as the 21st director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, DIA. He formerly served as the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G- 2, where he was the senior advisor to the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff in all aspects of intelligence, counterintelligence and security. Lieutenant General Ashley is a career army military intelligence officer with command experience at the company, battalion, squadron and brigade levels, with six combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, including as the Deputy Chief of Staff for intelligence G- 2. Other key assignments in his illustrious career include the Director of Intelligence, United States Joint Special Operations Command; the Director of Intelligence, United States Central Command; the Deputy Chief of Staff Intelligence, International Security Assistance Force; and Director of Intelligence, United States Forces, Afghanistan; and Commanding General of the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence at Fort Huachuca and Arizona. Lieutenant General Ashley's awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal. Today, he is the CEO of Ashley Global Leadership and Security. So Bob, it's very clear from that biography and illustrious career you've had the operational experience, you've had tactical experience, and you've had strategic and grand strategic experience in intelligence. I'd like to draw your attention, if I may, first to your more recent experience at the Defense Intelligence Agency as the director there. Your perspective of open source: to what extent was an open- source intelligence considered one of those mainstream parts of what you did in the Defense Intelligence Agency?

Bob Ashley: Yeah, Harry, I appreciate that. For framing where we were at DIA, I would say we're early in the journey and they're probably still early in the journey even today. It's not mainstream, but it's integral in terms of where we are. As I reflect on it now, it's actually strategic in terms of what it potentially can do and information it can provide. I don't know that I would have characterized it as strategic several years ago, but we're learning. We're iterating on what this can be. But for me, the journey goes back to when I was the Commanding General of Fort Huachuca. So as the Commanding General of Fort Huachuca, I'm the commandant for army intelligence, and we were knee- deep in the discussions of, okay, what are we going to do with this? Do we create a different military occupational specialty that they just do open source? And we really struggle to define it. And fast- forward three years later, I'm the G- 2, the senior intel officer for the army, and we're still struggling to define this. And then I find myself as the director to the Defense Intelligence Agency, so we finally said, " Okay, hey, look, we got to get started, so let's create a career field." But the way we created the career field wasn't on the analytics side. It was more on the data collection piece of it, which is again, back to the fact that I personally didn't recognize the strategic nature of it, but I realized, we got to do something, and so we started with a career code that looked more like collection management of data than it did of analysis.

Harry Kemsley: So if I may just interrupt you there, what that sounds like is a recognition of the potential for the open- source environment, and Sean, you and I have spoken about this many times before, that we recognize that it's almost negligent to not engage with the open- source information environment because there's so much out there. But did you get to the stage, Bob, where you felt that that was something that had to be introduced to the analytical community as a specialization, or do you still see that primarily as a collection effort that's integrated into intelligence analysis?

Bob Ashley: Yeah. I'm evolving my understanding over time. I thought the collection was a good starting point, but the more and more I think about it, it's more in terms of analytic production. So as I think about analytic production, it's one thing to gather the information, but I think the other part is when we think about things like the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, the Defense Intelligence Analysis Program. This is how we allocate resources to write about things that are of national interest, that are of national security interest. And we don't really incorporate open source as a separate entity into that and what we could do to leverage the commercial capabilities. So what we really have not done is we've not integrated it. We buy public- available information, we buy commercially available information, we get data from data aggregators, and we leverage that to complement what we're doing with pristine, classified collections.

Harry Kemsley: inaudible. Yeah.

Bob Ashley: Exactly. And we're just getting to that point now we're starting to have the conversation of: this is more than collection. We could actually start looking extending the intelligence enterprise to analytic production to augment, and in some cases, to be standalone analytic production, as long as it meets certain prerequisites from the commercial world.

Harry Kemsley: Right. There's a set of things I'd like to follow up on there in a second, Bob. I know, Sean, you wanted to come in on that point. So before we go on to the next question around the commercial sector, perhaps, Sean, your thoughts?

Sean Corbett: Yeah. I just thought it was really interesting, and totally agree, Bob, that the initial focus was on the data as opposed to the analysis. Of course, we were there at about the same time. I was just thinking of it from the analyst perspective in terms of the journey for open source. Now, I always call it the tyranny of the now, as you know, but if you remember at that time, and probably even now, you had lots of multiple inputs going on at once where you've got to provide the best possible intelligence, and the fastest possible. Obviously, there was the intelligence- sharing project going on that I was leading for you, and then there was the real imperative to start embracing the technology. Now, if you are an analyst in the middle of that, you're just going to think, " Oh no, here's something else." And I don't think we were there. We weren't even having the conversation about open- source intelligence as a discipline at that stage. But I think it was there, bubbling underneath, particularly at the tactical level, where you use whatever sources you can to come up with the best assessment. So I think that the closer to the front line that you got, the more it was perhaps people were comfortable with it and using it. Now, of course, for understandable reasons, the focus has been on the data. How do we use the data? What is the data? How do we protect it in the way it needs protecting and all the rest of it? But I do think that we are now starting to have a conversation at the analytical level: say, okay, how do we, using your word, Bob, integrate it? How do we develop the tradecraft? All that sort of stuff. So it was an interesting journey and still is.

Bob Ashley: Yeah, because I think we will never have enough analysts to deal with all the information that's out there, and so our ability to start thinking about this as bringing in commercial intelligence, data, however you want to categorize it, as bringing them on the team as opposed to something you buy, I think for me is a way to think about it. So right now, when we think about publicly available, information, commercial available information, and some of these very bespoke kinds of things, whether it's you want to do analysis of supply chains, we tend to have a mindset of, "This is something I go and buy, as opposed to something that I integrate." And the analytic piece of this... You look what Janes does, Bellingcat, some of these organizations that do really... The Institute for the Study of War for the Kagans, if you follow what they do on a daily basis on the war in Ukraine. I mean, this is some first class analytic capability in production. And ironically, you go back and you look at who fills some of the ranks; a lot of them are former members of the IC that are part of that. So they adopt the tradecraft. They're very familiar with it, but we've not really integrated this. It's moving past that, " I'm going to buy your data, or I want to buy the tools, but I don't really think of you as an integral part of this intelligence production enterprise that I have." And I think we're on the cusp of that right now, but we've got to get the IC thinking along those lines. We've got to get them comfortable that some of these organizations... And I know Janes is probably one of the best examples of how you can seamlessly integrate given the tradecraft and the governance and how you operate.

Harry Kemsley: So let's just take that point a little bit further, if I may, Bob. So Sean, you and I have spoken in the past on other podcasts with other guests about the cultural barriers, if they are indeed barriers, to the integration of open source as a mainstream part. I like the word you use a couple of times there: the complementarity, the partnership that that's inferring. What do we need to do, Bob? I mean, you've worked at all levels and you've been through many, many years of experience in this idea of the constant change, the constant churn of intelligence. What is it that's going to tip the balance as we appear to be getting closer and closer to the point where open source is seen as a complement, a part of the enterprise, the team? What's going to tip the balance to get that to become mainstream, do you think?

Bob Ashley: Yeah. It was funny; I was going through my emails this morning and one of the emails I had was in December, the DoDIIS conference, which is the Department of Defense Information Intelligence System. So every year, DI holds this big conference and industry comes in, and they come in and sell their wares. So they come in and they talk about, " Here's all the capabilities that we have." And it's a great gathering. It's a phenomenal inaudible and you have a lot of thought leaders come in. I think what's going to... It's the whiteboard drill, right? So if you look at everybody that is a thought leader in this space, to get them together with the key folks that are influential but have responsibility for this in the IC, to bring them in a room where nobody's trying to sell you a license, sell you a database, sell you a tool, and go, " What's the art of the possible?"

Harry Kemsley: Right.

Bob Ashley: What's the order of the possible for how we leverage these commercial entities, not only for data and tools but for analytic production? So if we were to expand this enterprise out past the three- letter agencies and the services, what could we possibly do? And that gets me into my conversation about things like the National Intelligence Priorities Framework or the Defense Analysis Production. And it's not always just going, " Okay, well we'll give the low- hanging fruit to a commercial industry." There may be some things that are priorities that we want to allocate and get a broader or a counter view of some of this stuff. But I think it really is about getting the community together in some kind of a conference over several days where you're not selling your wares, but you have the perspective of: how can we leverage this ecosystem of the IC and commercial to better our understanding of national security and getting information to our decision- makers? We already see this in the commercial side. Fortune 500 companies, and I'm remiss for not digging into this part of it, because I'd love to go see some of the Fortune 500 companies and go, " You have..." Pick... I'll say Exxon. I haven't talked to Exxon about this, but international business, employees stationed globally in areas that potentially are at high risk. So how do you do indications and warning? How do you give them a sense of the cultural understanding? How do you help them understand risk where they're operating? And these companies are doing this, and the other part of it is I think they're moving to leverage tools capabilities faster than we are in the IC. Governance for them is a little different dynamic, but I'd like to think from a legal, ethical, moral standpoint, they adhere to a lot of that stuff in terms of how they build these out. But I think there's a lot to learn from the industry. So it's Janes, Babel Street or other companies come in, but we also go, " Hey, let me get the person that's the head of intel and security that runs the joint intel ops center for Exxon." Pick your Fortune 500 company. Let's get into a room and go, " What could we possibly do to team together better?"

Harry Kemsley: Yeah. Yeah, I absolutely hear that: the idea of the coming together of mind, the art of the possible. I think the refrain from industry, which is not correct, but the refrain from industry will be, " Yeah, sure, but what's the commercial model? How are we going to build a business model around that?" I think that's weak. I think we need to start getting past that and finding the answer that we all need, both sides of the table. In fact, let's not be either side of the table. Let's be on the same side of the table. Let's get all around the table and get to the point where we actually understand the art of the possible. But I won't go off on one. Sean, you and I have spoken about the needs for further and greater integration of the commercial sector, which we both joined from a background of being on the defense- intelligence side. From your understanding of the journey you've been on, Sean, what would you say would be the major tipping point that's going to drive this conversation to the point where we actually get around the table and start to act as a single unit, a single team?

Sean Corbett: I think we're actually there now, and again, this is probably the second forecast I've been more positive than I normally am, because normally I'm glass- half- empty. But if you think it normally takes a strategic shock of some time to change how the intelligence community thinks, in this case we've had Ukraine. And actually not the just intelligence community, because there's social media, there's a new BBC organization that is now starting to leverage off publicly available or commercially available information to understand better what's going on. And I don't mean this to be taken the wrong way, but we've had the luxury with Ukraine to think this is really useful. In fact, not just useful; it's imperative, whether that's for intelligence- sharing and whether it's just for the wider community that isn't necessarily top- secret- cleared to understand more about what's going on, and the agencies are using the open source, and the inaudible for as well. And I think that that is almost the imperative to act now, because we're going to need it for the future. And the other side of that, the flip- side, of course, is the adversary has a say too. So if we think that the Chinas and the Russias of this world are not leveraging CIPIA in huge quantities in an industrial scale, then we've got nothing coming. We have to embrace it.

Harry Kemsley: Yeah. Just before we come to you, Bob, in a second about that comment from Sean, let me just add one further thought, and that is on this coming- of- age for the open- source environment, which, Sean, you're basically indicating Ukraine might well be that moment when we say, " That's when it changed," just when we started taking open source seriously. One of the things I'd like to look at if we have time is, yeah, but what specifically was open source doing before that it's now doing more of or better now as a result of Ukraine? But we'll come back to that point. Bob, you had a point to raise on that.

Bob Ashley: So a lot of times, there's so many different vectors on this one in terms of using open- source intelligence, and it's not a binary; it's complementary. They exist in the same ecosystem. You can even make the argument and say, " Well, if I'm running a source in a human operation, technically that's an open collector that I apply tradecraft to." So you can put the rules, but a lot of times you'll get the pushback and someone will say, " Hey, look, we're not going to drop a bomb. We're not going to do a kinetic operation based on open- source intelligence." You always are looking for the pristine or exquisite information from which you'll do something kinetic, but I think we lose the perspective on what we're doing right now. I mean, we have a very broad range, from competition to conflict, and the fact is open- source intelligence is ubiquitous. The assets that we own in the IC are not ubiquitous.

Harry Kemsley: Right.

Bob Ashley: Right? And so when you think about the decisions and things you make, you're going to take a lot of different feeds. Senior leaders, ultimately, they're going to make a decision based on not only what the IC is telling them, what they see in publicly available information because all voracious readers, and what their own judgment and experience tells them. But when you look at competition right now, and we can pick any of the adversaries or just frenemies, however we want to lay them out, is the ability to pull in information globally about Chinese activities, for example. How do you use open- source information, commercial or public, to instrument the Belt and Road to be able to find out what exactly is taking place with Chinese investment? And it's not just about what's happening in Taiwan, what's happening in the South China Sea or what's happening on mainland; it's what's happening through the total continent of Africa, what's happening in South America. There's a lot of attention right now, and the more I talk to combatant commands and their J- 2s, they are heavily leveraging open source, one because of the immediacy of it, because of the ubiquitous nature of it, how far it can cover. So it is integral to what they're doing now. I think it scales well. But then there's another conversation about, okay, what can we afford? What do the models look like in terms of our ability to acquire it? And so there's budgetary issues as well. I think it can scale tremendously, but the other part of it is how much are you going to pay for your exquisite and how much can you afford to pay for your commercial?

Harry Kemsley: Yeah. So I'd like to come back to the point about governing all of this, Bob, in a second as we start to talk about how it becomes a partner. Governing open source for intelligence purposes, doing that in a complementary way to the exclusive and exclusively government- based intelligence systems, we'll come to in just a second, but before we do that, let me just take us back, if you don't mind, to that point that Sean made about Ukraine and the for coming- of- age of open source. As I mentioned in my comment shortly after you said it, one of the things I'm keen to understand is, so what changed? If open source was capable of doing things that only became apparent during the Ukraine conflicts ongoing, what is it that's become apparent that's made us believe that open source has now come of age? What's your view on that, Bob? What is it that's changing about our perspective of open source as a result of Ukraine, if anything, in your view? And then, Sean, I'll come to you with the same question, because I think that's quite important for us to see why we believe that this has come of age. Bob, what's your thoughts about Ukraine in particular?

Bob Ashley: Yeah, so Sean's premise, which is true... I mean, these kinds of data existed, but now you're applying it against a problem. So it's the immediacy of having a conflict, and one where... Look at the Afghan and the Iraq models. We're not stacking six predators high over the top. We don't have boots on the ground. We have a very good partner in the Ukrainians, and I think there are probably some other partner nations that are running around the ground, and I'll stop there on that particular comment. But the fact that we don't have the collection in place that we've leveraged in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last 20 years, so we have to use some non- traditional sources, and these could be defined as non- traditional, but I think we're moving toward where these are becoming more traditional. So while they've always been there, you're just applying against the immediacy of a problem, and the problem is what's going on in the ground in Ukraine and what are the Russians up to. And we're also applying this clearly to what's happening in Russia proper as we watch the movement of ground forces in proximity, and then there's clearly the ability to share, which is a whole nother topic.

Harry Kemsley: Yeah. Certainly, Sean, you and I have spoken about that shareability piece of open- source- derived intelligence as being one of the key drivers. What else, Sean, in your experience of what you've seen in the last year or more with Ukraine has been that change, that coming- of- age?

Sean Corbett: I would subset that in terms of for me, as much as, yeah, there's some great technical apps and there's a better way to present all this stuff, it's actually an awareness. It's an awareness by senior politicians. It's an awareness by policy makers. It's even an awareness by public, because it's out there and now you're seeing it on whatever your social media feed, or if you're really old like me, you actually watch a bit of television. It's actually there. So you can understand the busy policy- maker that's probably been briefed on, oh, yeah, OSINT this or SIGINT that." But then you start, or she starts looking at it, really going, " Hang on a minute. This is really helpful, really useful, and I've got it right now." So I think, as always with these things, it's the evolution of stuff that is useful, which is why it's being used. And I talk about, as you know, this instant- gratification culture these days. If you don't get it in a 30- second soundbite now, it's gone. It's not news any more. And I think open source does apply to that, because you don't have to write it up in a certain way. You don't have to put a protection classification on it. You don't have to put it through a filter and you don't have to put it onto a top- secret system. Now, you do some of that, obviously, because you've still got to protect it and you've still got to have the tradecraft and the analytical standards, but it's different and it's easier to get out there. So I think as much as anything, it's an awareness thing.

Harry Kemsley: Yeah, the awareness piece, certainly, I think all three of us would agree that... Go back 10 years, 15 years and think about the targeting packs that we'd all seen in our prospective careers, and then look at what's on TV today. Look at what's on social media today in terms of imagery intelligence product you see on TV. Frankly, there are some very, very high- capability open- source products coming onto mainstream television and media, which as recently as 15, 20 years ago would absolutely have been the sole preserve of government agencies. Bob, you wanted to come back on that.

Bob Ashley: Yes. So I think the plank- holder and how this can be integrated started with overhead imagery on the geospatial side. So if you look at what NGA has done to bring commercial overhead, whether it's electro- optical or synthetic- aperture radar or whatever phenomenology, into the analytic production, they're the lead. It's funny; I turn on CNN at night and they're going to show me a picture of what's taking place. Perimeter or headshot, there's always a little watermark that says Maxar in the bottom right- hand corner. But the other part is talking to the senior leadership from NGA, and I think Bob Sharp's going to come chat with you at some point, but when you talk to the former NGA leadership like Bob, former director, Charlie Cleveland, ran operations, what they would tell industry is, " I'm less interested in your pixels these days. I want to see your analytics. So rather than just shipping me data, start taking on some of the analytic burden and come in and help me identify things," and it's from foundational to indications and warning. And so I think it's simpler to do that with a specific discipline, which could be subject to manipulation, fake images and stuff like that, but as a plank- holder, that's a good example of what's possible. And then as you guys know, if you're going to do all- source, or in this case... Neil inaudible would reach out and choke me if I said all- source on the commercial side, so I will say multi- source. If you're going to do multi- source on the commercial side, that's a different level of complexity than just overhead imagery. So the governance, the tradecraft and the veracity, all those attributes play into that a lot more than just overhead. But that's why that journey is necessary, but just getting started.

Harry Kemsley: Yeah. I'll come to you in just a second, Sean. I can tell you from Janes experience, the amount of times now we're getting involved in effectively RFI as a service, request for intelligence analysis as a service, over and above the foundational and current intelligence we produce, is interesting and certainly is aligned with that observation, Bob, about, " I want the analytics as much as I want the open- source intelligence or data." Sean?

Sean Corbett: I just think... It was brought up there. I think it's really important to make the very obvious point, though, but the OSINT is lots of different types of intelligence. So whereas SIGINT is a particular element, the electromagnetic spectrum, GEOINT, et cetera, OSINT covers it all, and I think that's one of the reasons why it is quite complex in terms of the governance, which is a nice little segue for you there. But if you look at using ad- tech data for example... And that's just commercial SIGINT, isn't it? I mean, that brings on, I think to the ethical discussion, which we might have in a moment. But I think it is important just to reflect that open- source intelligence, it's a discipline, but it covers the full spectrum of the intelligence disciplines.

Harry Kemsley: Yeah. Bob, go ahead.

Bob Ashley: Yeah, so it's interesting when we talk about the analytics and where I think we're on the start of that journey but we're not deep into it, because since retiring and getting to see both sides of the fence, both on the commercial side and still trying to track as best I can as a retiree what's happening in governance space, I've asked a couple of senior people, no names, that work in the open- source discipline, and I said, " So are you interested in this getting more integrated, where we actually leverage the commercial world for analytics?" And I got a very straightforward, " No. We're interested in the data. We want unique data." And I said, " What about tools?" They go, " No, not really interested in the tools as much. We just want unique data," because it is that perspective of, " Just give me your information. I'll apply my own analysis. I'll apply the tools that I'm developing," because this is still a very insular mindset, and that's just a few people that I've talked to. There are others that have a different perspective, and that gets to the cultural piece. So even my time and testimony on the Hill for the oversight committees, they're very pointed in going, " Hey, do you still have a strong bias against open source?" And I can honestly say I did not have a strong bias. I said, " How do we integrate this?" We've come up with the career field, we're getting started on this journey in a much more deliberate way. And it's not a binary, right? It is complementary in the way it integrates, but you still have a lot of folks that'll say, " Yeah, I'm still suspect on this and I'm going to default to my pristine, and that's where my effort will continue to be."

Harry Kemsley: Bob, do you think that's driven by the need for higher levels of assurance in national security? When you're putting your signature at the bottom of the page that says, " My recommendation, sir, to the decision- maker is as follows," that when you can't put your hand on your heart and say you really understand the source, you really understand where that's come from, you just struggle to actually put your name to it, do you think it's as simple as that, or is it a more complicated beast to get them to a point where they actually want to integrate it?

Bob Ashley: I think they want to integrate it, but I think there's always that concern on the sourcing, which is why the tradecraft piece is so integral to this equation and why the commercial organizations like Janes that understand the intelligence community document, ICD 203, that runs tradecraft have an appreciation for it. The senior leaders are big consumers of what is out in the wild, so to speak, and we need them to be disciplined consumers as well. So the more that we can explain the provenance of the data, the analytic tradecraft... Because that's the value proposition for even just an analyst in the intel community, is, " I'm going to tell you this is where it came from. Here's my confidence level in the information, and I think you want to do the same thing." The concern is just there's greater concern of information to influence some kind of bias or disinformation because of just the broad nature of what's available in open source. So our ability to mitigate that concern and have a really solid risk- management framework on the open- source side via good tradecraft and how we do our production, I think it's integral to that, but it's the same model on the IC side.

Harry Kemsley: Yeah. Goodness me. How many times have we talked about tradecraft in the last few years, Sean? And I probably will come back to that later. Now, conscious of time. I'm going to move us on to appoint you made a second ago, both of you, in separate parts of your responses around governance. So to set this part of the conversation up, let us assume that we've got to a state where the open- source commercially and publicly available information is out there, is now being more integrated. It's more mainstream. It's much, much more part of what we do. That's not quite where we are yet, we've agreed, but let's make that assumption. How do we govern this, both in terms of how we do what we do in the open- source environment, and there are some ethical issues in there which we can touch on, as well as how we govern this across the real estate, the enterprise of defense intelligence, because the two are intimately linked, but how do we govern this, Bob? What's your view about governance?

Bob Ashley: Yeah, so there's a couple of things. One is we've got to figure out how we acquire, but to figure out how we acquire, we've got to figure out what we've already acquired. And so as you look at some of the work the DNI has done from that study that goes back to January'22 that was declassified, one of the big parts of that was: what commercial and public information do we have now? What are we doing with it? What do we need it to be able to do as we go forward? And then how are we going to acquire it? Part of the concern is... And I'll just give the example of industry running off to nine different COCOMs and selling them the same information, whereas, put my government hat back on, what I would want is the ability to look at what's out there in that ecosystem and how do I acquire that and provision it as needed out to those combatant commands? Now, maybe that's an overly centralized model, but we've got to start inaudible in something that is economically viable in terms of how we do this, and we also have to make sure that we're not paying for the same thing multiple times. Now, when I use the first person, or I use pronouns like we, yeah, I'm not in government, but I'm a taxpayer, so I still pay close attention to how that plays out. But the other thing on the concern is because of the information, the aggregators, how it's pulled in, most of the attention is for us, Fourth Amendment; it's your privacy. How do I ensure that my personal information is not being sold or being compromised in some way, shape, or form? And so really a lot of the angst, if you look at the oversight committees, and Sean mentioned ad tech, for example, if you look at some of the concerns from the US perspective, it really central is around personally identifiable information, PII. So how do we mitigate that? And even though the stuff that the IC is interested in is foreign, there's always the possibility that you've got some election that's pulled in information on a US citizen, and how do you mitigate that? So I think a big part of the governance is how do we acquire it? How do we provision it to this big enterprise? And nested within that is how do we ensure that we're not pulling in information that violates civil rights?

Harry Kemsley: Okay. We'll take just a short pause there. That's the end of part one. Please do join us for part two very soon, and thank you for listening.

Speaker 1: Thanks for joining us this week on The World of intelligence. Make sure to visit our website, janes. com/ podcast, where you can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts so you'll never miss an episode.


Robert Ashley Jr. former director of the DIA joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss the use of open-source intelligence in the defence intelligence enterprise and the opportunities OSINT provides to intelligence communities.

Today's Host

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Harry Kemsley

|President of Government & National Security, Janes

Today's Guests

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Robert Ashley Jr.

|Lieutenant General Robert Ashley Jr. retired
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Sean Corbett

|AVM (ret’d) Sean Corbett CB MBE MA, RAF