List of intelligence gathering disciplines
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This is a list of intelligence gathering disciplines.
Human intelligence (HUMINT) are gathered from a person in the location in question. Sources can include the following:
- Advisors or foreign internal defense (FID) personnel working with host nation (HN) forces or populations
- Diplomatic reporting by accredited diplomats (e.g. military attachés)
- Espionage clandestine reporting, access agents, couriers, cutouts
- Military attachés
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- Prisoners of war Prisoners of war (POWs) or detainees
- Routine patrolling (military police, patrols, etc.)
- Special reconnaissance
- Traveler debriefing (e.g. CIA Domestic Contact Service)
MI6 is often thought to use human intelligence to operate in different countries or Britain itself to protect the country from global affairs. However, this is usually confused with their brother agency MI5, which focuses on the security of Britain.
Geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) are gathered from satellite and aerial photography, or mapping/terrain data.
- Imagery intelligence (IMINT) – gathered from satellite and aerial photography
Measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) are gathered from an array of signatures (distinctive characteristics) of fixed or dynamic target sources. According to the Air Force Institute of Technology's Center for MASINT Studies and Research, MASINT is split into six major disciplines: electro-optical, nuclear, radar, geophysical, materials, and radiofrequency.
- Electro-optical MASINT
- Nuclear MASINT
- Geophysical MASINT
- Radar MASINT
- Materials MASINT
- Radiofrequency MASINT
Open-source intelligence (OSINT) are gathered from open sources. OSINT can be further segmented by the source type: Internet/General, Scientific/Technical, and various HUMINT specialties, e.g. trade shows, association meetings, and interviews.
Signals intelligence (SIGINT) are gathered from interception of signals.
- Communications intelligence (COMINT)
- Electronic intelligence (ELINT) – gathered from electronic signals that do not contain speech or text (which are considered COMINT)
Technical intelligence (TECHINT) are gathered from analysis of weapons and equipment used by the armed forces of foreign nations, or environmental conditions.
- Medical intelligence (MEDINT) – gathered from analysis of medical records and/or actual physiological examinations to determine health and/or particular ailments and allergic conditions for consideration
Cyber or digital network intelligence (CYBINT or DNINT) are gathered from cyberspace.
Financial intelligence (FININT) are gathered from analysis of monetary transactions.
- Meteorological intelligence
- Operations security
- Spy satellite
- Traffic analysis