November 23, 2020

CIA’s Open Source Center Plans to End Data Service that Powers World News Connection Database

From Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News/Federation of American Scientists:

The U.S. intelligence community’s Open Source Center (OSC), which is managed by the CIA, will cease to provide its information feed to the publicly accessible World News Connection as of December 31, 2013, according to an announcement from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), which operates the World News Connection (WNC).

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Mary Webster of the Open Source Center had initially proposed to cancel the public information feed as of September 30, according to an NTIS official.  Then she was persuaded to grant a six month reprieve.  But in the end, a cut-off date of December 31, 2013 was set.

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If that comes to pass, it will be a blow to researchers and proponents of public intelligence. The Federation of American Scientists had previously argued that the U.S. government should actually expand public access to open source intelligence by publishing all unclassified, uncopyrighted Open Source Center products.  (“Open Up Open Source Intelligence,”Secrecy News, August 24, 2011.)  Instead, even the current range of publications will no longer be systematically released.  (Only a small fraction of publicly unreleased OSC records ever seem to leak.)

Read the Complete Post from Secrecy News

Note: World News Connection is made available to the public by Dialog (from ProQuest). We’ve reached out to ProQuest for a comment. 

See Also: Prior to World News Connection, this Open Source Resource Was Named the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). Readex provides searchable access (fee-based) to FBIS reports from 1941-1996.

See Also: Foreign Broadcast Information Service History, Part 1: 1941-1947 (via CIA Electronic Reading Room)

See Also: Other Declassified Documents Mentioning Foreign Broadcast Information Service (via CIA Electronic Reading Room)
Note: Google search results prove more useful than using  CIA ERR search engine. Note: Both Google and the CIA Search return more mentions of FBIS but the actual documents are not available online. You’ll find examples of this here.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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