Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

The limitations of automating OSINT : understanding the question, not the answer

Weir, George R.S. (2015) The limitations of automating OSINT : understanding the question, not the answer. In: Automating Open Source Intelligence. Elsevier, Waltham, MA., pp. 159-169. ISBN 9780128029169

Full text not available in this repository. Request a copy from the Strathclyde author

Abstract

Answering key questions on matters of fact, such as whether a particular individual was employed by a named organization at a specific point in time, is easy if one has access to relevant data, for example, company financial records, income tax returns, or details of bank account transactions. For good reasons, such data are not widely accessible without authorization. In contrast, open source information may be unrestricted and free to access by interested parties. Whether such readily accessible data will prove helpful in determining an answer to such questions of fact as our aforementioned employment query is far from certain. The availability of relevant data is not assured. The desired information may simply be unavailable. If it is available, there is no assurance that the enquirer can successfully negotiate the required technology, adequately specify the desired information, and retrieve the data. In this chapter, the limitations of open source intelligence (OSINT) are described and outlined with reference to the risks around interpreting results from automated algorithms.