May 25-27, 2022 | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Nuclear Weapons

The Practice of OSINT: Exercises in Methods and Ethics

The rapid growth in capability and credibility of open source experts working on nuclear policy has allowed this community to take more prominent roles informing the public policy debate. Still nascent is how well the community manages its ethical practices and how well the community’s work is understood by policy stakeholders. The community is increasingly aware of this lag but still in the early stages of discussing and coordinating on such challenges.

This event convenes experts and analysts working with open source information on nuclear policy to exercise, discuss, and collaborate on ethical practices and OSINT methodology. The event previews, tests, and improves the design of two new resources for stakeholders in the open source and nuclear policy communities:

  • Ethics case studies in open source analysis: Participants in the event take part in a training module and case studies exercise on the ethics of open source analysis. This exercise, designed and facilitated by Melissa Hanham, has participants work through several case studies of real ethical challenges faced by nonproliferation analysts working with OSINT. The case studies and accompanying materials will be published by the Stanley Center. Participants have the opportunity to provide feedback on and help improve these educational tools.
  • OSINT framework for nuclear policy professionals: Participants in the event get a preview of and help workshop a methodological framework, designed by Jamie Withorne, on OSINT applications intended for nuclear policy professionals. Input from workshop participants will inform the framework as it is eventually developed into a handbook, to be published by the Oslo Nuclear Project.
  • OSINT futures and community building: Henrietta Wilson facilitates interactive sessions exploring ways in which the international community can harness the growing field of open source research in order to strengthen global regulations on armaments and disarmament. The sessions brainstorm applications for open source research and how barriers to achieving them can be overcome; stimulate consideration of key ideas and themes that will be relevant throughout the event; and build our community by enabling participants to interact with each other around the diverse issues that are important for them.


Luisa Kenausis

Associate Program Officer
Nuclear Weapons