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Open Source Information (OSI) and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) are attracting enormous interest from the business, military and political intelligence communities. OSI…
Open Source Information (OSI) and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) are attracting enormous interest from the business, military and political intelligence communities. OSI and OSINT offer the prospect of delivering valuable intelligence, from so‐called open sources such as newspapers, experts, and online databases. While OSI and OSINT may offer considerable potential when employed to produce information on foreign countries, they are totally dependent on the researchers’ and analysts’ understanding of the target country‘s history, politics and society. A research project on the BAM (Baikal‐Amur Mainline) Railway in eastern Siberia provides a practical example of OSI. The project involved researching a book on the BAM (Baikal‐Amur Mainline) Railway in eastern Siberia using OSI alone as it was impossible to visit the region. The 3,084km BAM traverses an almost unpopulated region which had been virtually closed to Westerners since it became a major gulag zone in the 1930s. Once the book’s research was underway, it became clear that much of the English language published material was ill‐informed and contradictory. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the relaxation of travel restrictions, it was possible to validate the information gathered. This led to a number of surprising findings about the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the material collected outside Russia.
ONE of the pressing problems that faces the public librarian of to‐day is the finding of adequate protection for the property committed to his care. The open‐access library loses books; at any rate now‐a‐days. But there is no means of prosecuting borrowers who take an extra book from the library in their pockets. There are model standing orders which may be adopted, which regulate the conduct of readers in reference libraries and reading rooms, but a book‐thief may plead that he meant only to borrow a book that has been found in his possession, and his offence will be treated merely as a technical breach of the rule that a book must be “charged” before it is taken from the library. When a clear case has been made, as in the notorious Walthamstow case, a foolishly sentimental Bench will refuse to help the libraries. We would urge the Library Association to give some consideration to the drafting of model standing orders which will give legal effect to the present “rules” under which libraries work, rules which the vicious may defy almost with impunity. The safety of the books in most libraries depends, actually, on public ignorance of the fact that most of our rules have no legal authority behind them.
The Empire Day Movement, which is associated with the Royal Empire Society, announces that with the object of inducing the Government to take effective action against the practice of selling blended butter, predominantly foreign, under labels and in packets which suggest English origin, a memorial has been signed by representative organisations and members of Parliament of all parties. The memorial, which has been sent to the President of the Board of Trade, the Minister of Agriculture, the Chairman of the Empire Marketing Board, and the Chairman of the Food Council, is as follows :—In the interests of the butter‐consuming public, as well as of agriculture and the promotion of Empire trade, we, the undersigned, call the attention of the Government to the continuance of certain practices to which allusion is made in the fourth report of the Imperial Economic Committee. In paragraph 243 the report says: Blended butter is at present sold under various proprietary brands. In certain cases these brands embody the names of counties or districts which are known to be important agricultural or dairying areas in the Home Country. The suggestion inevitably conveyed in such cases to the bulk of the consumers must be that such butter is of English origin.