Open Source Center

Open Source Center

The Director of National Intelligence Open Source Center (OSC) is a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 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]


  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


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.[6] 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."[7] 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.[8]

The OSC is located in the Reston Town Center development in Reston, Virginia, in the former headquarters of the FBIS.[9][10] 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.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "Centers in the CIA".  
  2. ^ Peak, Douglas. (October 1, 2005) Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin. DOD and the DNI Open Source Center -Building the Partnership. Volume 31; Issue 4; Page 15.
  3. ^ a b About World News Connection.
  4. ^ DNI Press Release
  5. ^ Other Public Citations
  6. ^ See page 413 of the 9-11 Commission Report (pdf).
  7. ^ Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "ODNI Announces Establishment of Open Source Center". Press release, 8 November 2005.
  8. ^ Ensor, David. "The Situation Report: Open source intelligence center". CNN, 8 November 2005.
  9. ^ "High-Tech, Secure & Laboratory Environments". DNC Architects. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ Doug Naquin (2007), "Remarks by Doug Naquin, Director, Open Source Center" (PDF), CIRA Newsletter (Central Intelligence Retirees' Association) 32 (4), retrieved April 5, 2013 
  11. ^ "CIA Scraps Plan for More Reston Offices".  

External links

  • The Open Source Web Site
  • Selected OSC reports from The Federation of American Scientists