In keeping with its mission to promote open source intelligence tradecraft, elevate the discipline, and develop the practitioner community, the OSINT Foundation seeks to collaboratively develop standards for our profession. The following standards documents and resources are applicable to U.S. OSINT practitioners in the Intelligence Community and of educational value to the broader OSINT community.
Dated November 20, 2023, the Foundation's methodologies document delineates the various OSINT collection methodologies and their relation to publicly available information (PAI) categories. The document also provides clarification on how gray literature, internet-of-things (IoT) telemetry and bilateral exchanges relate to the collection methodologies.
Revised on October 16, 2023, the document establishes the four mediums which represent the totality of the PAI
environment at this time. The document also provides clarification regarding topics such as gray literature, and observation vs. elicitation.
Mediums of PAI Graphic (high res)
Dated November 28, 2022, the Foundation's definitions document provides definitions for open-source intelligence (OSINT), publicly available information (PAI), and commercially available information (CAI), as well as guidance regarding usage, pronunciation and a summary of the nature of the discipline.
PAI/CAI Venn Diagram (high res)
DISTINGUISHING CAI FROM PROPRIETARY INFORMATION:
Proprietary information is controlled by the owner – if it is available for purchase by the public it is commercially available information (CAI). Proprietary information that is not available to the public or non-governmental entities is neither CAI nor PAI. This includes instances when the information is sold exclusively to the government or access is gained through government regulation.