Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The Open-Source Spies of World War II
Though the technology to hemorrhage data about yourself has made the job easier, it’s by no means a new practice. For as long as we’ve had open sources, we’ve had open-source spies. And that was especially true during World War II, when the job of open-source intelligence analysis fell principally to the men and women of the Research and Analysis branch of the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency. OSS chief William “Wild Bill” Donovan believed in collecting secret intelligence by covert means. But he also saw value in hoovering up as much information from open sources as possible, and charged the R&A branch with analyzing it.