Robert David Steele Vivas (born 16 July 1952) is an American activist and a former Central Intelligence Agency clandestine servicescase officer known for his promotion of open source intelligence (OSINT). He is the founder and CEO of OSS.Net as well as the Golden Candle Society. He was a Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer for twenty years and was the second-ranking civilian (GS-14) in Marine Corps Intelligence Activity from 1988–92, and was also an adjunct instructor at Marine Corps University in the mid-1990s.
Robert David Steele was born in New York City on 16 July 1952. His father was a petroleum industry executive. He spent his first twenty years in Latin America and Asia. He holds a B.A. in political science from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in international relations from Lehigh University; and an M.P.A. from the University of Oklahoma.
Steele is commonly associated with the open source intelligence movement and coined the terms “virtual intelligence” and “information peacekeeping”. He argues that U.S. intelligence reform is needed, and that the private sector can perform a high percentage of U.S. open source intelligence needs and reduce cost to the U.S. government. He advocates “collective intelligence” or “the wisdom of the crowd” (what Howard Rheingold calls “smart mobs”) and for hackers as a national resource.
Steele, an international proponent of OSINT, argues that both reports, while recent, still ignore his decades of advocacy for a proper national focus on OSINT from 1988 to date. He further argues that the CIA has refused to take open source information seriously for decades, and should not be charged with developing new capabilities that are totally outside its existing culture of secrecy.
He left the military in 1993.
Read more: Wikipedia: Robert David Steele
Blog: Public Intelligence Blog