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.


Mediums of Publicly Available Information Document (pdf)

Dated March 4, 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)

OSINT Definitions Document (pdf)

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)



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.



Return to the Thought Leadership overview page