Robert David Steele
- For other people named Robert Steele, see Robert Steele (disambiguation).
|Robert David Steele|
Robert David Steele presents at The Last HOPE July 20, 2008
July 16, 1952 |
New York City, New York
|Occupation||Open source intelligence advocate.|
Robert David Steele Vivas (born 16 July 1952) is an American activist and a former Central Intelligence Agency clandestine services case officer known for his promotion of open source intelligence (OSINT). He is the founder and CEO of OSS.Net as well as the Golden Candle Society. He was a Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer for twenty years and was the second-ranking civilian (GS-14) in Marine Corps Intelligence Activity from 1988–92, and was also an adjunct instructor at Marine Corps University in the mid-1990s.
Early life 
Robert David Steele was born in New York City on 16 July 1952. His father was a petroleum industry executive. He spent his first twenty years in Latin America and Asia. He holds a B.A. in political science from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in international relations from Lehigh University; and an M.P.A. from the University of Oklahoma.
Steele is commonly associated with the open source intelligence movement and coined the terms "virtual intelligence" and "information peacekeeping". He argues that U.S. intelligence reform is needed, and that the private sector can perform a high percentage of U.S. open source intelligence needs and reduce cost to the U.S. government. He advocates "collective intelligence" or "the wisdom of the crowd" (what Howard Rheingold calls "smart mobs") and for hackers as a national resource.
Steele, an international proponent of OSINT, argues that both reports, while recent, still ignore his decades of advocacy for a proper national focus on OSINT from 1988 to date. He further argues that the CIA has refused to take open source information seriously for decades, and should not be charged with developing new capabilities that are totally outside its existing culture of secrecy.
He left the military in 1993.
Reform Party candidacy 
In 2011 Steele announced his intention to receive the nomination of the United States Reform Party. In November of that year, he crafted a proposed statement called the Electoral Reform Act of 2012 and presented it to the Occupy Wall Street Electoral Reform Committee. He withdrew on 23 February 2012, citing a lack of support from other prospective third party candidates.
All of the following works were self-published by Steele:
- On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World (AFCEA, 2000). ISBN 0-9715661-0-0.
- The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political (OSS, 2002). ISBN 0-9715661-1-9.
- Peacekeeping Intelligence: Emerging Concepts for the Future (OSS, 2003). Contributing editor with Ben de Jong and Wies Platje. ISBN 0-9715661-2-7.
- Information Operations: All Information, All Languages, All the Time (OSS, 2005). ISBN 0-9715661-3-5.
- The Smart Nation Act: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest (OSS, 2006). ISBN 0-9715661-3-2.
Film appearances 
- Steele is prominently featured in the 2007 documentary American Drug War: The Last White Hope.
- He also appeared in two French documentaries: Les Hackers (English translation: Hackers), on the National Geographic Channel, CIA Guerres Secretes (By William Karel) and Le Monde selon Bush (English translation: The World according to Bush by William Karel), on the television channel Paris Première.
- Hackers '95 by Phon-E and R.F. Burns
- Wired article How to Restore Spies Credibility: Go Open Source published December 14, 2007. See also:
- Agee, Philip. Inside the Company: CIA Diary. Penguin Books, 1975, p. 528. ISBN 0-14-004007-2.
- "Robert Steele OWS Electoral Reform Proposal".
- Open Source Solutions Inc.
- Earth Intelligence Network
- A Summary of Steele's Views
- Journal Publications
- Articles published
- Speaker biography at DEF CON III Las Vegas 1995
- Open Source Intelligence: Private Sector Capabilities to Support DoD Policy, Acquisitions, and Operations May 5, 1998
- The New Craft of Intelligence - Making the Most of Open Private Sector Knowledge 2002
- Draft legislation to create Open Source Agency posted November 10, 2005
- Interview Audio: Robert David Steele, Open Source Intelligence Evangelist Jan 25 2006
- Forbes - Open Source Intelligence April 18, 2006
- OSS CEO Praises Mary McCarthy, Calls for Censure of DNI & DCI April 22, 2006
- 911, Iraq, & Bin Laden: US’s $60 Billion Intelligence Failure May 2, 2006
- Call for Open Source Intelligence Inputs to Wikipedia July 5, 2006
- OSINT for Peace Operations Est. 2007