No More Secrets

Since 9/11, U.S. intelligence organizations have grappled with the expanded use of open source information derived from unclassified material, including international newspapers, television, radio, and websites. They have struggled as well with sharing this information with international and domestic law enforcement partners. The apparent conflict between this openness and the secrecy provides an opportunity to reconsider what intelligence is and how citizens and their government interact in the interests of national security. That is the goal of No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence.

To write this thought-provoking book, the author drew on his direct participation in the open source industry from 2001 to 2005, seeking to explain how new developments influence the nature of intelligence and relate to the deliberative principles of a democratic society. By analyzing how open source policies and practices are developed, maintained, and transformed, this study enhances public understanding of both intelligence and national security affairs.

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In Praise of No More Secrets

No More Secrets is a most welcome addition to the depressingly miniscule volume of intelligence studies literature specialising in open source exploitation. Not only does it bring an academic rigor to bear upon that notoriously difficult field of political science – intelligence; but, it also presents a long overdue examination of that field both from the author’s external perspective and the prism of an external framework – discourse theory. Although the author’s analysis is focused on open source exploitation – its turbulent, politicised, and, as yet, unfinished institutionalisation – it also reflects the ‘usual offenders’ with regard to the conduct of intelligence generally: the dominating culture of secrecy; an inability to validate its effectiveness; the ‘loaded’ struggle even to agree its definition; and, the contextual nexus of a post-Cold War ideological vacuum, the digital, mobile information and communication technology transformation, and the emergence of a private intelligence and security sector that all remain as difficult for the intelligence community to navigate now as it was surprised by their origins some two decades ago. Students of intelligence studies would do well to read this book.” – Stevyn D. Gibson MBE, PhD, Author of The Last Mission and Live and Let Spy, Oxford Intelligence Group, Nuffield College, Oxford

No More Secrets is an academic work, not an expose. But it is an exceptionally stimulating one that brings the theoretical principles of organization management and communications theory to bear on intelligence policy in original and insightful ways.” – Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News

“This is a pioneering work that not only explains the true worth of open source intelligence, but also illuminates the institutional bias against it and the pathologies of a culture of secrecy. The use of primary data from interviews makes this an original work in every possible sense of the word. I strongly recommend the book to both professionals and to faculty seeking a provocative book for students.” – Robert D. Steele,

“An assiduous and incisive account of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s flirtation with ‘open source intelligence’” – Gordon R. Mitchell, Associate Professor of Communication, University of Pittsburgh

“This study proves clearly the vital importance of critical analyses of communication for placing national security in an ethical balance with a robust democratic culture.” – Ross B. Singer, Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale


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Associate Professor of Communication and Director, International Studies Program

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