Open Source Information System

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From the Wikipedia:

"The Open Source Information System (OSIS) is the former name of an American unclassified network serving the US intelligence community with open source intelligence. Since mid-2006, the content of OSIS is now known as Intelink-U while the network portion is known as DNI-U." (


From the Open Anthropology blog [1]:


"Intelink-U is now part of the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office, Joint Reserve Intelligence Center. Notice that by “open source” what is meant is that it makes uses of open source, it does not provide its own analysis as open source:

Intelink-U is a virtual private network — a government intranet. It provides a protected environment to exchange unclassified and FOUO/SBU US Government and other open source data among Intelligence Community and other selected organizations. The Intelink-U firewalls safeguard government information resources and allow customers access to both the Intelink-U network and the public Internet. This gives Intelink-U users a single point of access to an unprecedented amount of unclassified open source information. Intelink-U is operated by the Intelligence Community Enterprise Solutions (ICES).

World Basic Information Library (WBIL):

"The Foreign Military Studies office (FMSO) is also in the process of creating the World Basic Information Library (WBIL):

The World Basic Information Library –WBIL– is a “virtual research library” built upon the basic information requirements of the Intelligence Community (IC) and military planners. WBIL constitutes the central data base resource under the Foreign Military Studies Office’s Open Source Information System.

Since WBIL’s 1997 inception as a pilot project focused on Africa, it has grown extensively to include authoritative Open Source materials for selected countries worldwide as well as a broad range of transnational security topics. In the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, materials focusing on post-attack information requirements have been intensively added….

This material seeks to answer basic questions about the military, political, economic, and infrastructure dimensions of a country, and focuses on “emerging threat” issues falling under six categories. (

More Information

The cited open anthropology post is very critical of the open source approaches by the security apparatus, and argues that they use open source without giving back, and that, because of such abuse, open access is not a good strategy.

For more: see