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1980

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CIA and NSA first sought to exploit commercial databases in mid-80s

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is the least famous, least exciting, and most prevalent form of intelligence, covering any sources that are theoretically open to anyone, such as newspaper articles, published books, or social media posts. With the ubiquity of the internet, the use of such commercial databases is beyond routine for both the Intelligence Community and the government at large, but there was a time, however, where the mere interest was not only cutting edge, but problematic.

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FBI can’t find its files on the investigation into Reagan’s “Debategate”

By its own admission, the FBI spent over 700 man-hours investigating the allegation that during the 1980 Presidential Election, the Reagan campaign received a copy of at least one debate briefing book used by the Carter campaign, giving the Reagan camp a clear advantage. But when asked for those investigatory files, the Bureau only produced a two-page memo ordering the case closed.

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