OSINT for Law Enforcement

Enhanced Open Source Intelligence with public & private records

Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT, involves gathering and analyzing publicly available information in order to better understand people. Law enforcement agencies, private investigators, financial services, intelligence analysts, and more can all use OSINT to get information about individuals. If you’re looking to conduct vendor risk assessment or get information about a person of interest, OSINT can help. Here’s how a public and private records database can make it easier for you to access Open Source Intelligence.

Streamline OSINT investigations with public records

Just because available data is technically open source, doesn’t mean it’s easy to find. For example, someone’s property records may provide information on previous addresses, contact information, and other generalized knowledge. However, it can be difficult to find up-to-date property records or gather information about a person’s address history.

A quality public records search engine offers tools like property records search and address history search. With these tools, you can get quick and easy access to the accurate information you need for OSINT.

  • Although information that is OSINT is technically public, it can be difficult to find.
  • Getting open-source information requires that you have the tools necessary to quickly uncover that information.
  • With a public records search engine, you can get up-to-date data as well as records from the past. 


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OSINT techniques for social media

Because many people put a significant amount of personal information on social media, social media is gold mine for gathering OSINT. Social media allows you to take a deeper dive into individuals and their behaviors. However, manually searching through someone’s social profiles can be tedious and difficult.

Tracers social media search helps you quickly find the social media information you need for your specific situation. Tracers pulls information from business websites, social media accounts, message boards, and web pages into one easy-to-read report. 

  • When you’re looking for more information about a person, their activities, and their behaviors, social media is a great resource.  
  • Getting Open Source Intelligence from a social media platform typically requires extensive research on someone’s accounts and presence.
  • A social media search provides comprehensive information about a person’s social media platforms and other website presences.

Cost-effective OSINT tools

When you use OSINT in your organization, you want to pay a fair price for it. If you’re not familiar with Open Source Intelligence, you may overpay for OSINT tools. Or, you might assume that certain types of OSINT are too expensive for your needs.

Tracers public and private records search engine provides affordable pricing options for every size business. With Tracers, you can access high-quality, useful tools for OSINT without breaking the bank. 

  • Managing the costs of accessing Open Source Intelligence is an important part of running a well-functioning business.
  • Understanding more about OSINT tools will help you determine the right amount to pay for it.
  • With access to a quality people search, you’ll get all information you need at a price that fits your budget. 

OSINT framework to craft a full profile on your subject

When choosing OSINT tools, the most important factor to consider is getting comprehensive and accurate information. In order to get a complete picture of your subject, you need access to expansive information. That information may include contact details like email addresses, criminal records, asset records, address history, or something else. Whether you’re trying to prevent crimes or perform due diligence, use a public records search engine to build profiles.

  • Crafting a strong OSINT framework requires accessing the right information about the right people.
  • With the right public records search engine, you’ll be able to gather comprehensive, accurate, and reliable public records.
  • These extensive records can help more fully understand your subject and get the information that’s most important to your case. 

How can Tracers help with OSINT?

When you’re looking to gather OSINT, you should use the data available in Tracers public and private records. With Tracers, you can perform a social media search and collect information from social media networks and websites. You can also search people, addresses, criminal records, and assets to learn more about your subject.

Open Source Intelligence is incredibly helpful to many different businesses. Whether you’re a licensed investigator, law enforcement agent, or corporation, Tracers data gives you more ways to understand people. And with features like API and batch processing, you can collect OSINT in the best method for your organization.

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More information

What is Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)?

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is the technique of gathering and analyzing information from publicly available sources for a specific intelligence purpose. OSINT is commonly gathered from the internet, social networks, and records databases. However, it can also be gathered from other media sources like television, business reports, academic sources, or GPS devices.

The term OSINT doesn’t necessarily mean data that is free. Instead, it just has to be available for anyone to gather. That means you can gather it without breaking the law or needing a specific license or permit.

OSINT is beneficial to a variety of industries because it’s available to everyone and does not require expensive tools. Using OSINT is typically a much smaller investment than other kinds of intelligence. Because of this, it can provide a greater return on investment for the industries that choose to use it.

Who can benefit from Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)?

Many different industries can use Open Source Intelligence for a variety of different purposes. Open Source Intelligence can be used by OSINT detectives as one of the best open source forensic tools for forensic investigations. It can also be used to gain more information for a cold case investigation.

Similarly, OSINT is used as one of the investigative tools by law enforcement for solving criminal investigations and identifying potential criminals. Because data for OSINT is publicly available, it’s a great data sharing tool for law enforcement and community policing solutions.

Legal professionals can also use OSINT to perform social media due diligence and gather evidence for a case. Businesses, like corporations, financial services, and open source debt collection companies, may use OSINT for better threat intelligence and information security. Businesses can also use OSINT to gain more information about customers, debtors, or anyone else who interacts with their organization. Essentially anyone that needs information for a specific purpose can use Open Source Intelligence with the right tools.

What does Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) reveal?

OSINT reveals huge amounts of information about people that can be used for a wide range of things. Data for OSINT can reveal information for a personal background investigation. It can also help identify people who may pose a risk to the community. This kind of information can include criminal records, asset records, and other court records.

Open Source Intelligence can also reveal address history, utility listings data, and contact information. This information can be used as an expert witness locator to skip trace witnesses or other individuals.

A common source of Open Source Intelligence is social media because it can reveal a lot about a person. Social media may give more insight into who a person is than you can glean from traditional public records. For example, OSINT from social media may reveal a person’s locations, activities, interests, friends and associates, and behavior.

You may also find business websites and message boards someone is associated with. Gathering OSINT from social media can be incredibly useful for building connections in investigations. Or, legal professionals can use it to vet jurors and perform due diligence on both their client and opposition.

Open Source Intelligence may reveal information that can be useful for customer due diligence solutions and vendor risk assessment. This may include high-risk information, like criminal records and watchlist screening. This may also include personal and sensitive information for KYC protocol and customer verification solutions. That information could be addresses, debt records, and property records.

OSINT can also reveal information about customers. Customer information can help businesses perform list generation and data augmentation and identify prospects.

What do I need to access Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)?

While OSINT is gathered from publicly available information, it isn’t alway easy to use OSINT. Without the right tools, you may experience information overload or run into information that is outdated or inaccurate. To sort through information and find relevant data for OSINT, use a public records database like Tracers.

Tracers provides over 42 billion public records pulled from thousands of sources. Rather than scouring through different sources to find the information, you can quickly access complete data from any device.

You can use a social media finder by number to get social media data in one report. Or, use the best criminal records search, asset search online, address history search, and look up utility bills by address. If you’re looking to craft a strong OSINT framework in your organization, Tracers is the best tool to use.

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For information about how we collect, store and use your personal data, please read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.