The paper “How to stitch lacunas in Open Source Intelligence – Using ethics to fill up legal gaps“ by University of Groningen has been successfully presented at the first Jean Monnet NOVA-EU workshop and will be shortly available under the Working Paper series of Maastricht University.
Advances in technology and changing trades in online behavior have led to an increase in the volume, variety, velocity and veracity of open source data. At the same time new ways to analyse these data for various purposes have emerged. Open source intelligence (OSINT) is intelligence collected from publicly available sources, including the internet, newspapers, radio, television, government reports and professional and academic literature, etc. The EU Horizon 2020 MIRROR project, uses OSINT to combine different analyses of automated text, multimedia and social network to create a tool for border control to better understand how Europe is perceived abroad, detect discrepancies between image and reality, and to spot instances of media manipulation.
Through the OSINT analyses, the project aims to enhance the abilities of border control authorities to deal with such misconceptions and the security threats resulting from them.
This paper takes a fundamental rights as well as a multi-disciplinary approach to analyse the legal and ethical challenges created by the use of open source data for purposes as the ones envisaged by the MIRROR project.
It analyses in how far the use of open source data is compatible with data protection and privacy rules in the European Union. Starting from the premise that even the most perfect implementation of laws (that by nature are imperfect) would leave gaps that need to be filled, the paper analyses how we could use ethics for filling these gaps as well as for ensuring that any OSINT activities are fully compliant with the fundamental rights’ standards.