Publication of the first version of the OSINT Guidelines

10 January 2023

While ObSINT acknowledges that it does not represent the entire OSINT community or industry, it aims to contribute to the growing body of literature in this field based on its organisations’ vast collective experience. These guidelines are designed to support organisations working in the public interest by outlining a common ethical framework for them to adopt or adapt based on their requirements.

Applicability of the Guidelines

The OSINT Guidelines apply to those engaged in public-facing OSINT work, which includes investigative outcomes displayed to a wide audience. It is essential to note that these Guidelines are complementary to the local laws and regulations applicable to organisations and do not supersede them.

Objectives of the Guidelines

The primary objective of these guidelines is not to propose a unilateral approach to conducting OSINT research and investigations. Instead, they aim to:

  1. Support organisations working in the public interest by providing an ethical framework.
  2. Encourage the adoption or adaptation of this framework based on the specific requirements of each organisation.
  3. Promote transparency, accountability, and credibility in the field of OSINT.

Fostering a lively discussion on best practices and ethics

ObSINT hopes that these Guidelines will spark a continuous and lively discussion on best practices and ethics within the OSINT community. The collective eagerly anticipates feedback from the diverse community of stakeholders engaged in OSINT work, as they use these guidelines and propose additional approaches to improve the field. By working together, we can ensure that OSINT practices remain ethical, transparent, and effective in serving the public interest.


The OSINT Guidelines represent a significant step forward in establishing a shared ethical framework for OSINT organisations in Europe and beyond. As the field of open-source intelligence continues to evolve, it is crucial to foster collaboration and dialogue on best practices and ethics to maintain credibility and trust. ObSINT is committed to supporting these conversations and looks forward to seeing the OSINT community embrace these guidelines and contribute to their ongoing development.

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