The concept of military secrecy, like the concept of privacy, is increasingly tenuous. As the world becomes more interconnected, the old ways of protecting military information are proving inadequate. Dedicated adversaries, as well as professional journalists, curious scholars, and eager hobbyists, now are able to track military operations around the globe with unprecedented granularity using open-source intelligence—"intelligence” that comes from publicly available sources, such as the news media, social media, and flight trackers. This disruptive, normative, technologically-enabled change likely will make strategic surprise harder to achieve and significantly enhance the strategic intelligence capabilities of violent non-state actors (VNSAs).
New Open Sources of Military Intelligence