The United States Intelligence Community

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Within the United States Intelligence Community (IC) there are a variety of sources and means with which intelligence information can be collected. Jeffrey T. Richelson, the author of The U.S. Intelligence Community states that ?Collection activity can take any of several overlapping forms: open source collection, clandestine collection, human source collection and interrogation, and technical collection.? 1 These areas that Richelson refers to can be broken down into the following disciplines: open source intelligence (OSINT), Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Imagery Intelligence (IMINT), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT). OSINT is the collection of intelligence readily available to the public, such as magazines, online databases, radio broadcasts and newspapers. HUMINT encompasses information gleaned from clandestine, human source and interrogation methods. And IMINT, SIGINT, and MASINT encapsulate the disciplines under technical collection. With each intelligence collection method there are both positives and negatives to consider ? some come with great risks, but potentially yield great rewards and some come with low risks, but need to be collected as part of an overall, holistic campaign and then analyzed extensively to yield palatable results.
The collection of open source intelligence (OSINT) involves the exploitation of materials that are readily available to the public. According to InfoSec Institute, traditional
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