The State Department’s intelligence branch is setting up a new open source office to improve how it shares analysis with diplomats worldwide under a new strategic plan that puts a major emphasis on upgrading the bureau’s IT operations.
The Strategic Open Source Coordination Office will serve as a “central point of contact” for policy, training and tradecraft around open source intelligence, or OSINT. The new unit will also test and procure open-source tools, help deliver them overseas, and manage contracts.
The Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis, or INR, provides intelligence to U.S. diplomats. But most diplomats, spread out at locations across the world, have sporadic access to classified U.S. intelligence assessments.
The intelligence community is increasingly looking to improve its use of OSINT, especially as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plays out across social media feeds, commercial satellite images and other publicly available sources.
The open source office is part of the bureau’s new strategic plan, called “INR 2025.”
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