What was your OSINT highlight of 2020?
2020 was a busy year so I wasn’t able to follow everything in the OSINT world as closely as usual but I know a personal highlight of mine was being a guest on the Layer 8 podcast and getting to tell one of my stories there. It has also been great listening to other people’s stories there on the podcast.
What emerging (good or bad) trends did you notice over the past year?
Certainly, a lot more people have come together in communities such as the Searchlight Discord. This has been another big highlight of 2020, being apart of Team Searchlight and watching it grow into such an incredible community. I think many people who didn’t like platforms such as Discord much before have still given into it now because they know it is a valuable resource for learning and collaborating with others.
Any favorite tool or technique that you tried in 2020?
Newspapers.com has been very interesting to use this year. Some very good information can be found in historic newspapers that cannot be found elsewhere on the internet publicly. One incredible highlight I have for this is when I was searching someone to show them what could be found and I found a ton of old family photos such as their father as a baby being held by his mother and so many more. The incredible thing was, their family now had never seen any of these images before and I could provide these to them and that feels amazing to do because who doesn’t love old family photos?
How do you see the OSINT landscape changing in 2021?
With everything constantly changing, I don’t know, but it will be interesting to see what happens with topics such as privacy laws, official OSINT certifications, what social media platforms come and go, community events, new investigation tools and techniques, and so much more.