No More Secrets

Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence

by Hamilton Bean
Foreword by Senator Gary Hart


The media has reported on intelligence officers gleaning insights on Iran's nuclear capabilities from Internet photos and has written about documents, including a terrorist training manual, that have been scooped up at public forums. How does such open source information impact the intelligence community today?

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May 2011


Pages 218
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/U.S. Homeland Security

This in-depth analysis shows how the high stakes contest surrounding open source information is forcing significant reform within the U.S. intelligence community, the homeland security sector, and among citizen activists.

Since 9/11, U.S. intelligence organizations have grappled with the use of "open source" information derived from unclassified material, including international newspapers, television, radio, and websites. They have struggled as well with the idea of sharing information with international and domestic law enforcement partners. The apparent conflict between this openness and the secrecy inherent in intelligence provides an opportunity to reconsider what intelligence is, how it is used, 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 own direct participation in the institutionalization of open source within the U.S. government from 2001 to 2005, seeking to explain how these 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.


  • Critique and commentary from intelligence officials and analysts regarding open source reforms within the intelligence community and homeland security sector
  • Three interrelated case studies through which post-9/11 U.S. intelligence reform is analyzed and critiqued
  • Examples of collateral, including official and unofficial photos, from the 2007 and 2008 Open Source Conferences sponsored by the Director of National Intelligence
  • A timeline of key open source developments, including the establishment of associated commissions and changes in organizational structures, policies, and cultures
  • Appendices containing excerpts of key open source legislation and policy documents
  • A bibliography of open source-related scholarship and commentary


  • Identifies actual organizations and individuals involved in the institutionalization of open source information within the U.S. intelligence community
  • Assesses how open source developments reconfigure the relationship between citizens and their government
  • Tells the inside story of the turf wars among agencies vying for control of open source reforms
  • Offers a communication-based model for understanding the processes of institutional change within the U.S. national security arena
Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Author Info

Hamilton Bean, PhD, is assistant professor of communication in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado, Denver. Bean has published in Rhetoric & Public Affairs and Intelligence and National Security.



“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 Singer, Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

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