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This week in open-source intelligence (OSINT) news, we look at why Australia is calling for an assessment of its open-source and secret intelligence capabilities, examine the details of the new proposed legislation on doxing, and share some effective OSINT techniques to spot AI-fueled fakes.

This is the OSINT news of the week:

Australia’s intelligence community must adapt to risk falling behind its adversaries

Australia is calling for a comprehensive review of its intelligence community to ensure that it can adapt to the rapidly shifting strategic landscape. Authoritarian regimes have effectively weaponized open-source information; Western intelligence agencies need to commit to continuous evolution and investment in new skills and resources to stay ahead of their adversaries.

OSINT alone can’t solve all intelligence challenges, and the intelligence community needs to continue developing both their open-source and covert capabilities. The two should work hand in hand, as secrets are vital for confirming open-source information, identifying disinformation and revealing evidence not in the public domain. In the digital age, where technology plays a central role in strategic competition, Australia, along with other regional powers, must remain on top of its game to maintain a decision-making edge over foreign rivals.

“Without this commitment to continuous evolution, Western intelligence agencies could fall further behind adversaries.

– Justin Bassi, Executive Director and Chris Taylor, Head of the Statecraft and Intelligence Program

Lawmakers call for national security risk assessment of doxing

A bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives aims to address the threat of cyber harassment, focusing on doxing. The bill's supporters highlight instances where social media platforms have been used by malicious actors to spread sensitive personal data, including targeting public officials, religious groups and private citizens. Concerns about incidents such as the Boston Mapping Project — an attempt to publicize the locations of Jewish community organizations — and the dissemination of "kill lists" by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have contributed to the need for a broader assessment of these activities and associated risks. 

The proposed legislation aims to address the rising threat of doxing by providing law enforcement with the tools to evaluate risks to national security and civilian privacy resulting from targeted online harassment and the release of individuals' personal information. By analyzing and evaluating the tactics and risks associated with cyber harassment, policymakers hope to develop more robust approaches to safeguarding Americans and their data.

“This is a new frontier, and we need more information on the threat doxing poses.”

– Don Bacon, U.S. Representative, R-Neb

ShadowDragon’s director of intelligence shares tools on spotting AI-generated disinformation

Nico Dekens, director of intelligence at ShadowDragon, has released a practical guide for OSINT researchers to help identify fake content created with the assistance of AI models. He focused his research on error messages produced by AI language models like ChatGPT, such as messages indicating a violation of content policies. Dekens found many examples of fake and misleading content on social media platforms, online stores, publishing platforms and job review sites.

The malicious and unethical use of AI language models is nothing new, as they are often employed for plagiarism, manipulating human behavior and spreading falsehoods. Dekens advises researchers to learn techniques for detecting and exposing these campaigns to help combat AI disinformation, fake reviews and deepfakes with OSINT.

“As with any new technology, there is always a good side and a bad side. The bad side of ChatGPT has been seen in recent months, with an increase in its abuse for bad or wrong intentions.

– Nico Dekens, director of intelligence at ShadowDragon

Every other week, we collect OSINT news from around the world. We continue to keep a close watch on Russia's war in Ukraine, especially on Twitter. We’re also gathering information on cyberthreats, federal intelligence strategies and much more. Find us on Twitter and share the OSINT news you’re keeping up with.

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