Featured image of post Brenna Smith

Brenna Smith

Digital Verification Specialist | Investigations Intern @USATODAY | Past: @bellingcat & @hrcberkeley

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What was your OSINT highlight of 2020?

My highlight of 2020 was getting to broaden my skillset outside of crypto, especially with python work.

https://www.bellingcat.com/author/brennasmith/

I’ve noticed that OSINT is actually a skillset many people have and use daily. In my opinion, that’s a great thing and should be humbling for the space. I think many of us consider OSINT to be a small group of experts, but there are so many other people out there doing great open-source research who just don’t know about the community or identify with the label.

For example, a huge amount of Gen Zero’s are EXPERT social media sleuths, especially on TikTok, but they wouldn’t necessarily identify as open-source researchers.

Point being, we’re in this small bubble with fancy names like OSINT and SOCINT, but really, we’re not as special as we think. And that’s a good thing. It will make us expand more as a community and grow as researchers.

Any favorite tool or technique that you tried in 2020?

Blockchain is my new favorite blockchain tool. I also finally invested in Hunchly which made my life much easier. On Github, there are so many goodies. The Sherlock Project, Recon-ng, buster. Oh, and tweetdeck, always tweetdeck.

How do you see the OSINT landscape changing in 2021?

I think OSINT is going to continue to further mesh with journalism in a big way. Eventually, I predict the skillset will be compulsory for any reporter.

Anything else you’d like to add about The State of OSINT?

Y’all rock! Keep up the good work.

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