(RightWing.org) – Open-source intelligence (OSINT) involves the collection of public information and using it to answer specific investigative questions. Cybersecurity experts note that countries can use the resulting intel to enhance their military, security, and surveillance operations. A recent report indicates that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is quietly harvesting data for its military services.
On June 1, Recorded Future issued a detailed threat analysis discussing “China’s embrace” of what it called open-source military intelligence, a form of OSINT using “collection, processing, and analysis technologies” for use by its military intelligence services. Recorded Future is a Massachusetts-based cybersecurity company specializing in collecting and disseminating threat intelligence using AI and natural language processing methods.
— The Epoch Times – China Insider (@EpochTimesChina) June 26, 2023
The CCP’s military arm, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), is quietly exploiting the availability of data online using algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, web crawlers, and other sources to extract information from foreign governments, defense organizations, social media platforms, news groups, research facilities, and individuals.
The targeted information collected is processed and sorted using a “growing ecosystem” of privately held companies, state-owned research groups, and universities. The PLA can then use that raw data to support its decision-making efforts at “strategic, operational, and tactical levels.”
The report noted that the PLA is using OSINT to target specific topics and issues in countries like the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Taiwan, and India.
Recorded Future warned that the PLA and other CCP entities have a distinct advantage over their adversaries due to the “West’s information environment.” Unlike China, the United States and other Western nations are unlikely to “close off their information environments” to wall off data from the rest of the world. Instead, they promote free speech and the unrestricted transfer of information in open platforms.
In short, while the CCP and PLA work to seal its intelligence and other sensitive information from the outside world, the US and other open societies are increasingly making it easier for the communist regime to enhance its military advantage over its adversaries using OSINT.
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