THE CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES “CENSS”
is a research and expert non-governmental organization specializing in following issues:
- international and national security;
- assessment of the state of resilience/fragility of society, its vulnerability to external and internal threats, including in political, economic, socio-cultural, informational and other spheres;
- identification of factors that may cause/stress political and other group conflicts, lead to the fragmentation of society, increasing tension in it both in general and in its individual parts (communities);
- developing new and assessing existing strategies and responses to existing threats;
early identification of potential threats to resilience of society, assessment of their level and awareness of such threats;
- developing new and assessing existing strategies and activities for conflict prevention, conflict management, mediation and post-conflict resolution and other conflict-related issues.
OSINT Process by CENSS
Stage 1: Source Selection
In the first stage of the OSINT process, we work with public sources of information in the required domain. We clarify their different features, e.g., the main topics of sources; who is the source’s controller, what is a target audience of a source, coverage, and others. CENSS uses technical and non-technical means to identify the most relevant sources for obtaining information. Those means, in particular, are conducting interviews with experts in a targeted domain, looking up available data about public sources from existing databases, and applying special software for superficial analysis of sources.
At the final point of the stage, we have a list of sources from which we can collect the most relevant information.
Stage 2: Obtaining Information
Having chosen the list of relevant sources, we automatically begin obtaining information from them. We do not collect all pieces of information from selected sources but only those that match relevant topics, keywords, or key phrases.
In this way, CENSS receives quite extensive unstructured data with which it is difficult to work.
Stage 3: “Coarse Sieve” Processing
We use specifically created software to process data to convert it into a well-structured one. At this stage, we already have the ability to detect some tendencies in the targeted domain and understand central “motifs.”
In intelligence parlance, such data falls under the definition of “raw” intelligence.
Stage 4: “Fine Sieve” Processing
After doing “Fine Sieve” processing, we have a well-organized set of highly relevant and precise data that can be looked at and used in various ways for analysis. Such a form of data is appropriate for discerning patterns within the subject domain as well as connections between different pieces of the information derived from all sources and between sources themselves.
We apply technical and non-technical means in this stage.
Internally, we use the term “semi-fabricated” intelligence for the product of this stage.
Stage 5: Analysis
At the final stage of the OSINT process, our analysts do various types of analyses of information collected and processed in the preceding steps.
The expected analytical report on the subject area results from the whole process. It falls under the definition of “Pure” intelligence.