OSINT, or Open-Source Intelligence, is a term that intelligence agencies and organizations have used for many years to refer to the collection and analysis of information that is publicly available and legally obtainable. The use of open-source information for intelligence purposes has a long history. Some sources suggest that it dates back to ancient civilizations when rulers would send out envoys to gather information about other nations and their activities.
In modern times, using OSINT has become increasingly important, especially with the proliferation of online information and the growing importance of the internet in our daily lives. Intelligence agencies and organizations worldwide have dedicated OSINT units that focus on collecting and analyzing open-source information from various sources, including social media, news outlets, blogs, and other online platforms.
It is difficult to identify a specific individual or organization that can be credited with initiating the use of OSINT, as it is a practice that has evolved. However, the development of modern OSINT techniques and the formalization of OSINT as a discipline can be traced back to the Cold War, when intelligence agencies in the United States and other countries began to focus more on collecting and analyzing open-source information.