The Importance of Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)



Since 1999, the Canadian Private Investigators Resource Center has assisted newbie and seasoned investigators to navigate through the ocean of online information.

This became even more evident on April 13, 2000 when Canada passed the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The PIPED Act states that organizations must obtain an individual’s consent when they collect, use or disclose any Canadian’s personal information. Although Canadians applauded this move by the government, which meant enhanced security of every citizen’s personal and private information, it left Canadian private investigators scratching their heads on what to do next.

If a private sector investigator was attempting to locate someone how could he or she obtain consent from that individual?


Enter Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)

Allen W. Dulles, The longest serving Director (1953-1961) of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A) once said that more than 80 percent of intelligence is obtained from open sources.

What is open-source intelligence (OSINT)? It’s intelligence collected from publicly available sources such as the internet, newspapers, magazine…

Since necessity is the mother of invention this is where we decided to focus our efforts for the past 2 decades. We have seen Canadian private investigators forced to change and adapt in a quickly shifting landscape. Those who survived the turbulent years are now better and stronger than ever before. Today, Canadian investigators are some of the most resourceful and adaptable investigators on the planet.

We are so grateful and honored to have been taken along this journey with all of you.

As always, we are here to serve.


© The above article was written by The Canadian Private Investigators Resource Center (  Permission is hereby granted to those who wish to share or copy this article. In those instances, the following Credit Statement must be included “The above article was written by The Canadian Private Investigators Resource Center (  Inquiries regarding The Investigator’s Journal should be directed to


  1. Derek on May 2, 2019 at 15:05

    Love your site and info, mate!

    • admin on May 7, 2019 at 11:21

      Derek, thank you so much it’s greatly appreciated. We try our best to keep on improving. Cheers!

  2. Ivan on May 7, 2019 at 11:14

    I am from Belgium. We have tough privacy laws OSINT is not as useful but glad I learned about Canadian PIPEDA.

    • admin on May 7, 2019 at 11:17

      Ivan, yes, Europe in general has strict privacy laws. Canada is kind of in the middle between European laws and the U.S. Thanks!

  3. Krysten Sweeney on December 26, 2023 at 05:59

    Appreciate the OSINT world as you are right; open-source intelligence is important. Not to be confused with free, available information to all. Important to remember fact checking the sources-root of the information, so as to not be lead the wrong way. Thank you!

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