OSINT—Open Source Intelligence

28. September 2021

What is OSINT and how do we use it for you?

Information determines our everyday life. Newspapers, television and, last but not least, the Internet provide us with a wealth of different information every day. Not all are relevant. And often we are simply overwhelmed by the amount of content.

Nonetheless, this publicly available information gives us a valuable tool. This tool is so valuable that even secret services like the American CIA use it. We are talking about OSINT – the Open Source Intelligence.

What is OSINT?

The term stands for news gathering from publicly accessible sources. However, this alone is not enough to obtain real insights into a fact or a person. The aim of OSINT is the right combination of the information obtained in order to analyze it and generate usable findings as a result.

How does OSINT work?

A fortunate circumstance in using this approach is the fact that all the information used is freely and publicly available. What is on the one hand a great advantage, however, also represents the difficulty of the OSINT. Because the mass of information is almost unmanageable. That is why a structured and well-considered approach to this type of research is essential.

In order to obtain data, all conceivable sources are considered.
An example: A profile is to be created for a target person. It must be clarified with which companies and other persons this target person is connected. Furthermore, it must be clarified whether there are connections to certain organizations or even political parties.

In order to get the right information here, the following sources are conceivable, for example:

– social media (to analyze existing contacts and publications)
– public business directories (to check business relationships)
– Press (to examine news about this person)

In fact, the research would expand to include many more sources. And here it can already be seen that the most important resource in this type of information gathering is time. Links are often found in the course of an analysis, which then lead to further research. And if a clear target and a defined structure are missing at this point, there is a great danger of losing sight of the actual question.

Who uses OSINT?

OSINT is not a new technology or even a secret science. The intelligence services and law enforcement agencies of this world – above all the US CIA – have been using OSINT for a long time. Even the German Federal Intelligence Service and the British Scotland Yard have set up their own departments that deal exclusively with data collection from public sources.


Our detective agency also uses OSINT. Because we have recognized that we can build up a comprehensive and reliable database from the information that the Internet offers us. The special feature of our detective agency: We don’t just rely on that. Primecheck’s information experts support our detectives on site with an OSINT profile. This is supplemented by our own investigations and research. This is how we ensure that we can always present you with the overall picture of a case.

Can I use OSINT myself?

Yes you can. All information used in this process is publicly available. However, please keep in mind: It takes a lot of time to gather the right information. This is especially true if you are not familiar with this type of research.

Our information experts have the necessary experience in this area. You can quickly see whether a data source is providing the information you want. They know the cross-connections between the countless sources and have developed their own structures and techniques over time in order to optimize the effort involved in searching for information.

We will help you professionally and quickly

Primecheck also relies on OSINT. We support our detectives with the data obtained in this way and can also quickly provide you with initial results and insights.

Do you have questions on this topic? Give us a call. We are happy to help.

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International Detective Association

I.D.A. International Detective Association is an international and transnational network of private and business detective agencies that promotes and supports the wealth of experience and information between detective agencies and investigators at an international level.


Koordinator Betriebliche Ermittlungen

The IHK certificate was obtained by PRIMECHECK in a three-part training course and ended with the certificate ” Koordinator Betriebliche Ermittlungen”. The certification is offered by VSW in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.


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Association of international private detectives

The PRIMECHECK detective agency is a member of the VID and thus part of a worldwide network of professional private detectives, which guarantees a competent exchange on an international level.

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