Why we must nurture positive ethics in “citizen-driven” OSINT

As citizen-driven open source intelligence (OSINT) grows in popularity, so does the risk of techniques being used by bad actors. I outline why digital investigators must promote a firmly ethical, but positive culture around our skillset.

Search volume for “OSINT” on Google has been steadily increasing since roughly 2015. Image: Google Trends
A simple outfit pose at your front door, can easily reveal your address when combined with other information on your social media and a few hours on Google Maps Street View. Image: freepik — www.freepik.com
If you need to convince someone of the digital threats we all face, showcasing how easily solved the seemingly impossible OSINT challenges are is a great eye-opener.
Dramatised scene from US TV series The Newsroom depicting the events of the Reddit Boston Bombing Fiasco
The intelligence cycle is an excellent framework for investigations and one in which I believe everyone should explore the ethical pitfalls of each stage.

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