OSINT is Changing … The World

OSINT is Changing . . .

The exponential growth in per person data creation over the past twenty years creates a host of opportunities and risks and as a result, open-source intelligence and publicly available data are changing the world.

A single data consumer equipped with a cell phone, laptop, Wi-Fi, and a few hundred dollars can now access the kinds of information that were once reserved for nation states. The same is true for individuals looking to cause chaos or commit crimes. All this publicly available and easily accessible data can be used in many ways, far beyond the imagination of the government intelligence analysts of yesteryear. Let’s examine a few summary statistics about our interconnected world and why OSINT is flourishing and essential.

  • In 2020, the average internet connected person creates 1.7MB of data per second1
  • In 2019, there were 2.9 billion email users and 5.5 billion email accounts2
  • In December of 2021, 45% of all emails sent were unwanted marketing, malware vectors, or were associated with attempts at fraud3
  • In 2020, cybercrimes economic impact reached 1 trillion dollars in total damages for the first time4

OSINT is Changing …

In this ongoing series we’ll aim to examine some of the modern uses for OSINT and publicly available data that may not be as obvious but are no less impactful. A few of the upcoming topics include:

At 443ID, we aim to empower our users by making the kind of data sets OSINT practitioners regularly use operationalized and easily integrated into your applications and workflows.  We will use publicly available data to help mitigate risk for our users and supply the best identity assurance management tools on the market. 

Just one more way OSINT is changing the world.


  1. https://www.domo.com/solution/data-never-sleeps-6
  2. https://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Email-Statistics-Report-2015-2019-Executive-Summary.pdf
  3.  https://www.statista.com/statistics/420391/spam-email-traffic-share/
  4. https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/assets/reports/rp-hidden-costs-of-cybercrime.pdf
Steven Sheffield is a career intelligence professional with a background in special operations mission support, targeting, and OSINT collection. During his 20+ years in the industry, he has worked as both an analyst and a user experience researcher. This experience uniquely positions him to manage intelligence shops, design new analytic processes incorporating the latest technologies, and write AGILE user stories for developers building next generation OSINT products. He is currently a PhD candidate at Clemson University in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design.

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