Does Valuable Intelligence Have To Be Classified?


Intelligence agencies and commercial companies have long struggled with the concept and inception of adopting open-source intelligence (OSINT) into their range of capabilities. Open-source intelligence is a way of collecting and analyzing publicly available information. In today’s world, there is no shortage of content. The data is overwhelming and is outpacing the available resources of skilled open-source analysts who are trained on the methodology to apply critical thinking skills.

Traditionally, government agencies have gathered intelligence in a sensitive compartmented information facility often referred to as a SCIF. The purpose of a SCIF is to safeguard and store classified information. This practice is now being challenged by intelligence professionals who recognize the value behind publicly available information (PAI) and the advancements of OSINT.

Active collection of intelligence to answer requirements has been a constant. However, today intelligence and research professionals can take a more passive role in the collection process. This is due to the overwhelming number of social networks and content creators, who intentionally engage with digital content at an average rate of  3 hours per day, according to Hootsuite Social Analytics.

Nefarious actors, organizations, and entities are sharing and making their presence known at an alarming rate, and they are doing it on public channels. The speed at which this valuable information gets to the collector can now be instant. A recent example is the Ukraine/Russia conflict.

Even though OSINT and its methods have technically been around for almost a century and the term was not coined by the US Military until the 1980s, the conflict in Ukraine, civil unrest, and the crippling economic effects of COVID shined a brighter light on the need to timely and accurately collect public information.

To know a populace you must engage them, and what better way to know a distant populace than to ingest their by-the-minute sentiment and first-hand reports of an ongoing situation?

The conflict in Ukraine alone showed the value of publicly available satellite imagery to depict Russian military movements and posts from actual military members on the ground illustrating the disinformation and misinformation being spread.

OSINT in Ukraine

OSINT, being comprised of rapidly growing amounts of cell phone videos, online information, social media, and commercial images, has enabled intelligence professionals and at-home analysts to collect information around the globe, with no need for classified capabilities.

There is a vast amount of PAI which grows worldwide by the second. The intelligence community can no longer ignore the wealth of that information and its place in answering real-world requirements.

What currently lacks in the commercial space and government abroad is the training to enable analysts and researchers to harness this trove of information, but most importantly do it accurately and timely with the depth it requires. The military is now taking notice of commercial OSINT training for its own analysts to fully capture the common operating picture of any situation.

With the major disruption to international economies by COVID, having by-the-moment information was key to being proactive to ensure corporations large and small could have enough reaction time to redirect logistic lines, prepare for shortages, and handle appropriate customer needs. Many companies tapped into social media to uncover supply chain insights of panic buying during the pandemic. When researchers looked at sentiment across 200k social media posts to observe influence of individuals’ perception of threat to the supply chain and scarcity of products, it ultimately led to panic buying and creating a strain on the supply chain.

This critical need for OSINT and the collection of PAI was captured by Harvard Business Journal in an article titled “OSINT – The untapped treasure trove of United Nations Organizations,” where it outlined the catastrophic loss to international agendas and economies was due to a lacking ability to collect the raw social data and interpret it into global business decisions.

There are over 500 million tweets worldwide that are published each day. Facebook adds 350 million photos daily. YouTube adds 720,000 hours of video and Reddit has 500,000 comments every 24 hours. With that sheer amount of public data each day, the ability to harness that and ingest it into answering real-world problems is of extreme value and importance to any commercial and government industry.

Content Infographic

Image Source: Domo

There still is an immense value and always will be to having classified means of collecting information and data to enable decision-makers to affect ongoing problem sets. The sensitive data that is collected by classified means is a key to ensuring those decisions are accurate and proportionate. On the other hand, not all issues need large-scale solutions. Insight and analysis of current local and international issues can be and are derived from much cheaper and easily accessible sources.

The need for an OSINT capability, no matter the industry or requirements, is growing exponentially. Companies large and small have taken notice and begun filling OSINT analyst positions within their ranks to increase proactive decision-making that keeps their interests, brand, personnel, and property safe.

Our Assessment

Commercial industries will lead the OSINT training venture and increase their abilities with technology backed by methodology. As common, the government will take the ability to a new level to answer real-world requirements which will feed the commercial technology and training environment. Industries that currently lack a capable OSINT function within will struggle to stay ahead of quickly changing situations and information. Forward-leaning organizations will quickly train and enable their own analysts to collect and analyze PAI. The landscape of social analytics will continue to increase but so will privacy restrictions, changing with the adaptation of collection abilities. Businesses and organizations that fail to see the immediate need for OSINT capabilities will continue to struggle with ongoing economic, cultural, and social changes, ultimately affecting their brand and public standing.



Echo Analytics Group Partners with All Things Possible for Fourth Skull Games Initiative



Counter Human Trafficking Event Takes Place August 6-7

TAMPA, FL (August 2, 2022) –Echo Analytics Group (EAG) is partnering with All Things Possible (ATP) to host the fourth Skull Games event on August 6-7. The Skull Games program crowdsources the collection of open-source intelligence (OSINT) to enable law enforcement with leads on trafficked victims and persons of interest.

The two-day event brings together vetted volunteers who have experience in open-source intelligence (OSINT) to aid in the identification of victims and persons of interest to help combat sex trafficking. The volunteers work together at the EAG Operations Center and online across the country to partner and provide information and support to law enforcement. At the conclusion of the weekend, EAG and ATP send detailed reports to law enforcement with a path of discovery for them to obtain warrant or probable cause to find victims or criminals. The previous three Skull Games identified approximately 45 victims and 20 persons of interest in eight states.

Jeff Tiegs, who served as a U.S. Army Ranger and Delta Force Operator, is the Chief Operating Officer of All Things Possible Ministries. Tiegs uses his expertise and experience to counter human trafficking with the help of Echo Analytics Group and their research platform, TORCH.

“The ability to recruit and groom victims is at an all-time high,” said Tiegs. “Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are riddled with predators. They are all over Minecraft and Roblox. They use mediums where you can share photos and videos. They are on Whisper and Scout, and they are on all the dating sites.”

“The work that Jeff and the team at All Things Possible is critical to helping law enforcement across the country,” said Buddy Jericho, CEO of Echo Analytics Group. “Through our work together, we can help save lives and put an end to human trafficking.”

Media interested in Skull Games should contact Jeffrey Kamis at 813.784.3642 for more information and interview opportunities.

About All Things Possible

The mission of All Things Possible is to identify, interrupt and restore those affected by trauma. This is done through law enforcement support and enablement. For more information, visit

About Echo Analytics Group

Echo Analytics Group (EAG) is a veteran owned and operated intelligence firm based in Tampa, Florida. EAG brings military grade intelligence to the private sector, combining publicly available information with advanced research methodologies to empower businesses and people to make informed decisions. With the overwhelming amount of content created daily, EAG provides best-in-class research resources from tools, case management systems, investigations, education and even analysts to make real-time decisions. To learn more, visit:



Echo Analytics Group Announces Launch of TORCH



All Your Research Needs. One Single Platform 


TAMPA, FL (June 2, 2022) – Tampa based Echo Analytics Group (EAG) announced yesterday the launch of its new TORCH platform, designed to empower research professionals to organize, collaborate and enhance their research abilities.   This unique platform houses access to more than 800 data sets and analytics tools, as well as a case management system that makes organizing research simple. The new platform allows analysts and researchers the ability to not only conduct better fact-finding, but also gives them the tools and resources to combat the relentless amount of disinformation and misinformation impacting the ever-changing landscape in the world. 

Through open-source intelligence (OSINT), TORCH provides a streamlined research solution bringing together all the offerings EAG once provided as individual services. The TORCH Toolkit includes a dynamic and customizable library of tools to access publicly available data. TORCH includes a Case Manager feature that allows users to organize, collaborate and share their findings with other users, all in one location.   Also available in the TORCH platform is the TORCH Academy, a library of on-demand courses developed to enhance professional development.  

“One of the biggest challenges for me during my military career was deploying to Fallujah and having to quickly learn about an emerging adversary.  For a short time, I felt unprepared, and we had a lot of information but separating the facts from the noise was extremely difficult, it was not a good feeling.” said Buddy Jericho, CEO of Echo Analytics Group. “For that reason, I set out to build a company to help people who today are facing similar challenges in both the corporate world, law enforcement and private domain. The only difference now is that everything is online.  This launch milestone gets our team one step closer to achieving the mission of making advanced research training and technology available and affordable to the people who need it most.” 

The TORCH platform is now available at an introductory rate of $49.99 per month. 

“Our team at EAG has trained thousands of professionals in the military, law enforcement, private security, and even human resource departments on methods of doing advanced research.  We have also provided research services to these industries.  Our team created TORCH after gathering extensive feedback from analysts and researchers faced with the ongoing challenge of keeping up with the growing amount of information online,” said Jericho. “The obstacle is sifting through all the data, encroaching on crucial time to analyze and apply critical thinking. The TORCH platform helps analysts make the research process more efficient, helping businesses and brands make more informed decisions when timing is crucial.” 

About Echo Analytics Group 

Echo Analytics Group (EAG) is a veteran owned and operated intelligence firm based in Tampa, Florida. EAG brings military grade intelligence to the private sector, combining publicly available information with advanced research methodologies to empower businesses and people to make informed decisions. With the overwhelming amount of content created daily, EAG provides best-in-class research resources from tools, case management systems, investigations, education and even analysts to make real-time decisions. To learn more, visit: