List of intelligence gathering disciplines
HUMINTHUMINTHUMINT, a syllabic abbreviation of the words HUMan INTelligence, refers to intelligence gathering by means of interpersonal contact, as opposed to the more technical intelligence gathering disciplines such as SIGINT, IMINT and MASINT...
Human Intelligence—gathered from a person on the ground.
- Friendly accredited diplomats
- Military attaches
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- Patrolling (Military police, patrols, etc.)
- Prisoners of war (POWs) or detainees
- Strategic reconnaissance, as by Special Forces
- Traveler debriefing (e.g., CIA Domestic Contact Service)
GEOINTGEOINTGeospatial intelligence, GEOINT , GeoIntel , or GSI has no universally accepted definition and it has been said that if you "ask 10 people to define 'geospatial intelligence,' and you are likely to get 10 different answers."-Official definition:The...
Geospatial Intelligence—gathered from satellite, aerial photography, mapping/terrain data
- IMINTIMINTImagery Intelligence , is an intelligence gathering discipline which collects information via satellite and aerial photography. As a means of collecting intelligence, IMINT is a subset of intelligence collection management, which, in turn, is a subset of intelligence cycle management...
—Imagery Intelligence: gathered from satellite and aerial photography
MASINTMeasurement and Signature IntelligenceMeasurement and signature intelligence is a branch of intelligence gathering activities.MASINT, may have aspects of intelligence analysis management, since certain aspects of MASINT, such as the analysis of electromagnetic radiation received by signals intelligence are more of an analysis...
Measurement and Signature Intelligence
- Electro-optical MASINTElectro-optical MASINTElectro-optical MASINT is a subdiscipline of Measurement and Signature Intelligence, and refers to intelligence gathering activities which bring together disparate elements that do not fit within the definitions of Signals Intelligence , Imagery Intelligence , or Human Intelligence...
- Airborne Electro-Optical Missile Tracking MASINT
- Tactical Countermortar Sensors
- Infrared MASINT
- Optical Measurement of Nuclear Explosions
- LASER MASINT
- Spectroscopic MASINT
- Hyperspectral Imagery MASINT
- Space-based Staring Infrared Sensors
- Nuclear MASINTNuclear MASINTNuclear MASINT is one of the six major subdisciplines generally accepted to make up Measurement and Signature Intelligence , which covers measurement and characterization of information derived from nuclear radiation and other physical phenomena associated with nuclear weapons, reactors, processes,...
- Radiation survey and dosimetry
- Space-based Nuclear Energy Detection
- Effects of Ionizing Radiation on materials
- Geophysical MASINTGeophysical MASINTGeophysical MASINT is a branch of Measurement and Signature Intelligence that involves phenomena transmitted through the earth and manmade structures including emitted or reflected sounds, pressure waves, vibrations, and magnetic field or ionosphere disturbances.According to the United States...
- Weather and Sea Intelligence MASINT
- Acoustic MASINT (also known as ACOUSTINTACOUSTINTAcoustical Intelligence is an intelligence gathering discipline that collects and processes acoustic phenomena. It is a sub discipline of MASINT ....
or ACINT - Acoustic phenomena)
- Seismic MASINT
- Magnetic MASINT
- Gravitimetric MASINT
- Radar MASINTRadar MASINTRadar MASINT is one of the subdisciplines of Measurement and Signature Intelligence and refers to intelligence gathering activities that bring together disparate elements that do not fit within the definitions of Signals Intelligence , Imagery Intelligence , or Human Intelligence...
- Line-of-Sight Radar MASINT
- Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) MASINT
- Non-Cooperative Target Recognition
- Multistatic Radar MASINT
- Passive Covert Radar
- Materials MASINTMaterials MASINTMaterials MASINT is one of the six major disciplines generally accepted to make up the field of Measurement and Signature Intelligence , with due regard that the MASINT subdisciplines may overlap, and MASINT, in turn, is complementary to more traditional intelligence collection and analysis...
- Chemical Materials MASINT
- Biological Materials MASINT
- Nuclear test analysis
- Radiofrequency MASINTRadiofrequency MASINTRadiofrequency MASINT is one of the six major disciplines generally accepted to make up the field of Measurement and Signature Intelligence , with due regard that the MASINT subdisciplines may overlap, and MASINT, in turn, is complementary to more traditional intelligence collection and analysis...
- Frequency Domain MASINT
- Electromagnetic Pulse MASINT
- Unintentional Radiation MASINT
OSINTOpen source intelligenceOpen-source intelligence is a form of intelligence collection management that involves finding, selecting, and acquiring information from publicly available sources and analyzing it to produce actionable intelligence...
Open Source Intelligence
Open source intelligence
Open-source intelligence is a form of intelligence collection management that involves finding, selecting, and acquiring information from publicly available sources and analyzing it to produce actionable intelligence...
— gathered from open sources.
Can be further segmented by source type; Internet/General, Scientific/Technical and various HUMINT specialties (e.g. trade shows, association meetings, interviews, etc.)
SIGINTSignals Intelligence—gathered from interception of signals
- COMINT—Communications Intelligence
- ELINT—Electronic Intelligence: gathered from non-communications electronic emissions
- FISINTFISINTFISINT stands for Foreign Instrumentation Signals INTelligence from the intercept of foreign electromagnetic emissions associated with the testing and operational deployment of non-US aerospace, surface, and subsurface systems." Since it deals with signals that are not exchanged by humans, it is...
—Foreign Instrumentation Signals Intelligence
- TELINT—Telemetry Intelligence: the collection and analysis of telemetry data from the target's missile or sometimes from aircraft tests.
TECHINTTechnical intelligenceIn a pure military context, Technical Intelligence is intelligence about weapons and equipment used by the armed forces of foreign nations .The related term, scientific and technical intelligence, addresses information collected at the strategic level.Technical intelligence is intended primarily...
Technical Intelligence—gathered from analysis of weapons and equipment used by the armed forces of foreign nations, or environmental conditions.
- MEDINT—Medical Intelligence: gathered from analysis of medical records and/or actual physiological examinations to determine health and/or particular ailments/allergetic conditions for exploitation.
FININTFinancial intelligenceFinancial Intelligence is the gathering of information about the financial affairs of entities of interest, to understand their nature and capabilities, and predict their intentions...
Financial Intelligence—gathered from analysis of monetary transactions
- CryptanalysisCryptanalysisCryptanalysis is the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information, without access to the secret information that is normally required to do so. Typically, this involves knowing how the system works and finding a secret key...
- Meteorological intelligenceMeteorological intelligenceMeteorological intelligence is information measured, gathered, compiled, exploited, analyzed and disseminated by meteorologists, climatologists and hydrologists to characterize the current state and/or predict the future state of the atmosphere at a given location and time...
- Spy satelliteSpy satelliteA spy satellite is an Earth observation satellite or communications satellite deployed for military or intelligence applications....
- TEMPESTTEMPESTTEMPEST is a codename referring to investigations and studies of compromising emission . Compromising emanations are defined as unintentional intelligence-bearing signals which, if intercepted and analyzed, may disclose the information transmitted, received, handled, or otherwise processed by any...
- Traffic analysisTraffic analysisTraffic analysis is the process of intercepting and examining messages in order to deduce information from patterns in communication. It can be performed even when the messages are encrypted and cannot be decrypted. In general, the greater the number of messages observed, or even intercepted and...