Open Source Intelligence – it’s surprising what you can find

Sky News has published a fascinating podcast going behind the scenes of one of their shared Open Source investigations.

It tells the story of how the broadcaster collaborated with The Guardian, Bellingcat and Lighthouse Reports to investigate the UK arms trade and go on to reveal that Russian special forces are using sniper rifles from the UK and British-made riot shields are being used by a number of US police forces during Black Lives Matter protests – all sold legally without the UK government being able to confirm how many weapons are being sold to other countries.

Open Source Intelligence is commonplace in the investigative industry and is a highly specialised service we use to lead us towards uncovering the truth. Its use is more rare in journalism due to the time and effort needed in newsrooms with stretched resources.

The podcast, which you can hear in full below, describes how publicly available information can be trawled to discover leads and how those leads can be forensically verified.

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Conflict International has experienced desktop investigators who search numerous databases we have legal access to, together with deep searching the internet for information and intelligence pertaining to the subjects of enquiry.

To discuss a particular case or our open source intelligence services in more detail, please contact us in confidence at our London Head Office on +44 (0)20 7917 2939 or email [email protected]


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