U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Real-Time and Open Source Analysis Resource Guide: Understanding and Using Open Source Resources for Law Enforcement Operational and Analytic Activities

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2017
52 pages
Developed under a collaboration among national organizations and federal agencies, this Real-Time and Open Source Analysis (ROSA) Resource Guide assists law enforcement agencies and fusion centers in understanding the lawful and appropriate use of open source information, focusing on social media, while ensuring that related privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are addressed.
After reviewing the capabilities of the ROSA tools, this Resource Guide discusses considerations for using ROSA for the development of criminal intelligence, investigative support, and public safety. A separate section of the Guide discusses privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties considerations that must be protected in the course of using open source analysis for law enforcement purposes. Operational security considerations are discussed in another section of the Guide, which pertains to protections from interference or exposure while engaged in online work. "Deconfliction" is also discussed. This is the process used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies in identifying whether or not more than one agency is investigating the same subject, group of subjects, or criminal organizations. This is followed by a discussion of the dissemination of ROSA-related information or intelligence and the importance of re-evaluating existing policies, procedures, products, and resources. The Guide concludes with suggestions for ROSA-related training. Appendixes contain ROSA-related terms and definitions, ROSA-related case law and guidance, fair information practice principles, and additional resources.