Introduction and Using this Guide
There are numerous Open Source Intelligence (“OSINT”) courses available from private sector providers and public institutions. For many students in these courses who have grown up with the Internet or use social media, these introductory courses are set at the right level; and they benefit immensely from the highly actionable skills they learn.
There is another cohort who is entering the digital investigation era. These individuals are new to investigating and researching using computers and the Internet. They have an interest, or indeed a requirement to gather information from online sources but they’re not regular social network users and are not “digital natives.” They might be a veteran police detective, intelligence officer or private sector investigator with a lot of experience conducting information gathering, but not from digital sources, and they have relied on others to do the technology part. If this sounds like you, then this guide will help you learn those skills needed to effectively navigate a new world of digital investigating.
This guide is an introductory resource for researchers who are new to Open Source Intelligence, and for people who are new to using computers for research.
Its purpose is to introduce new investigative researchers to the terminology used in the OSINT profession and some of the tools that are used. It will help prepare these professionals to take the courses they know they must take in the future to truly become proficient in OSINT gathering. This guide is an orientation, it should not be considered a substitute for proper training.
Although you can do so if you wish, it is not necessary to read the entire guide. If you are familiar with some sections, feel free to peruse them or skip them all together. You can use the menu to the side to go right to the topics in which you have an interest. There are no grades given on the materials and no certificates issued.
If you’re not sure which sections you should review we have provided a self-assessment quiz that you can use to help determine which areas you might want to brush up on. It is on the next page of the guide.
A Note About the Content
The KeyNorth Group has developed this guide, but some of the content has been developed by other parties, such as the browser developers themselves, or other parties who have put up very useful information on YouTube and shared it publicly. In those cases, we have curated those resources and organized them here. All trademarks and intellectual property rights remain with their respective rights holders.
If you come across a YouTube video and you find the video is a little small, look for this icon at the bottom of the video after you have started playing it. If you click it you will expand the video to your entire screen. The icon looks like this:
Once you have finished watching the video, click this icon to minimize the video and proceed in the guide.
If you have any questions about using this guide, find a broken link, or think that there should be something else added please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.