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Hong Kong Intelligence Report #123 Review of The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance and The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026

Updated: Mar 22

Open-source intelligence (OSINT)

Hong Kong Intelligence Report #123 Review of The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance and The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026
FILE PHOTO: Woman, back pain and computer programmer, software engineering or cybersecurity at night. © Envato

🔻 IMPORTANT 【重要】The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance and The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026

▪️ On March 19, 2024, the so-called ‘pro-establishment’ camp, with the autocrat HKSARG, unanimously and ultra-rapidly passed the legislation of the Basic Law Article 23 in the name of The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. The final calculation and evaluation of the impact of the legislation can only be settled after March 23, 2024, the date of the enactment of it. At first glance, the IC contacts - in every country, top police figures know their counterparts in high society due to job needs to tackle international crimes - of the top figures of the Hong Kong Police, so-called ‘American friends’ by Secretary of Security, Chris Tang, supported it personally on social networking. That represents their strategy behind the routine PR stunts and hysteria of dutiful anti-Chinese - the prime target now is not Russia – campaign stunts. Both warring sides had already exchanged the usual blame for words. At present, none of the current reactions are launched against HKSARG. Moreover, the business community is publicly supportive, in contrast to the Extradition Amendment Bill of 2019, as a reason mentioned in the previous post. Companies registered under the Companies Ordinance are skilfully and politically excluded from the concept of the internal forces / organizations in The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance in the final draft. Thus, the ordinance is technically not the harshest one.


Why capitalists support The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance? The answer is that HKSARG excluded the companies under the Companies Ordinance from the concept of the ‘internal forces’ / organizations within the national security ordinance in question. (Withdrawal of the anti-speculation tax is a political gift in exchange for the smooth legislation of the bill)

The key paragraph in the original textualization of HKSARG’s explanation at the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region:  


根據《公司條例》(第 622 章)組成及註冊的公司假若是 《社團條例》所適用的社團,是保安局局長本可根據《社團條例》第 8 條禁止其運作或繼續運作者,則行政長官會 同行政會議可命令公司註冊處處長將該公司自公司登記冊中剔除。《公司(清盤及雜項條文)條例》(第 32章)第 360N 條亦有類似條文適用於非香港公司。有關條文可用於防止有人利用設立公司從事危害國家安全的行為和活動。因此,上文第 34 及 35 段所述機制將不會適用於公司。


包括根據《公司條例》(第 622 章)註冊的公司;及根據該條例第 2(1)條所界定的 《舊有公司條例》註冊的公司。

The Chief Executive in Council may order the Registrar of Companies to strike a company formed and registered under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) off the register of companies if the company is a society to which the Societies Ordinance applies and which the Secretary for Security could have prohibited from operating or continuing to operate under section 8 of the Societies Ordinance. Similar provisions are also applicable to non-Hong Kong companies under section 360N of the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 32). The relevant provisions can be used to prevent the establishment of a company from being used to engage in activities that jeopardize national security. Therefore, the mechanism described in paragraphs 34 and 35 above will not apply to companies.


Including companies registered under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622); and companies registered under the Old Companies Ordinance as defined in section 2(1) of the Ordinance.



SBG/3/101/2024 (pp.26-27)

▪️ In general, the United States is the teacher in many fields, including the realm of OSINT. And the IC documents are valuable sources for learning in contrast to any corporate or state-owned media due to accuracy of the categories. The recent information disaster or fiasco of the so-called ‘professional’ media is the Bloomberg report of March 6, 2024, on the legislation of article 23 in which their ‘well-trained’, ‘talented’ team of career ‘journalists’ apparently didn’t even seriously read the suggestions on the bill literally and simply misunderstood it as the content of the bill itself abruptly. This is just a misreading in an ordinary sense, which means that it’s far away from any professionalism it is supposed to be while they are downgrading other talented people. Of course, it is the gravest mistake for OSINT because it’s too basic. Actually, it’s just a matter of ordinary reading, neither the height of the OSINT nor any serious kind of so-called fake news propaganda. Again, this is what we must avoid committing under any circumstances. Moreover, blind and lazy reliance on AI could still result in this kind of mistake at any moment. It also fatally lacks proofreading after AI generated the commentary on the suggestions on the bill at that time.


▪️ Before the page-by-page analysis of the IC document, The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026 is innovative and insightful because it puts every OSINT act conducted daily in each IC organization in view and consideration of the totality of the 18 IC organizations to avoid wasteful or conflicting overlapping of the OSINT products. In other words, it also means the broadest sharing of intelligence within the circle at the same time. This further includes the non-state partners, such as academia, business, and the media in the private sector. Besides, the OSINT product is subject to all-source analysis at a higher level before being provided for decision-making considerations by lawmakers and war fighters. This is in sharp contrast to the pure police operational mode of Hong Kong where there is still no IC of its own. As I mentioned last year, the operational mode of the upcoming The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance is basically the same with HKNSL. It’s recently confirmed by the report on March 19, 2024, ‘Enforcement is led by the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police.’ Yes, Hong Kong still doesn’t have its own fully-established IC like the United States.

🔻 NEWS / FACTs 【事實關係】


▪️ The dialectic contradiction of OSINT is information - what it is or how it is - (a fact, data) and intelligence - what does it mean – (the nature, truth, context, essence of the event; not speculation in contrast to opinion). The first page is the most important one among the pages because it most correctly defines what the IC is, what the IC does, what the goal of IC is in general. Again, unlike stupid narratives spread by the media on the IC, they themselves are not the Specter of the 007 world, thus they themselves aren’t decision-makers at all. And any political campaign conducted by the IC is ultimately ordered by the business sector in most cases. Why is OSINT exclusively important for citizens? Because everyone can do it based on open-sources to gain our own media literacy against propaganda, commercials, fake news etc. If it’s successful, we can clear gaps at least in our own minds, no matter what the mass is in.  

On Strategic Focus Areas, the most important one is the first one. In which provides the whole framework of present and future development. In short, three other areas are dealt with in the first area. Their structure is multi-layered, not juxtaposed in the idea. 

1.     OSINT is intelligence derived exclusively from publicly or commercially available information that addresses specific intelligence priorities, requirements, or gaps.

2.     Mission of OSINT or IC professionals in general: IC professionals collect, create, and deliver timely, relevant, and insightful open-source intelligence to inform national security decisions and protect our Nation and its interests.

3.     Vision and Goal: A professionalized, integrated, and agile IC OSINT enterprise providing decision advantage for U.S. policymakers and war fighters and driving innovation with partners.

4.     Strategic Focus Areas: a) Coordinate Open-Source Data Acquisition and Expand Sharing; b) Establish Integrated Open-Source Collection Management; c) Drive OSINT Innovation To Deliver New Capabilities; d) Develop the Next-Generation OSINT Workforce and Tradecraft.

Avril Haines and William J. Burns. (March 8, 2024). The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026, The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), p.1.


▪️ These three citations are basically the same, yet the third one is the best summary of this part. It embodies the general tendency of scientific theory in general, which is symbolized by the concept of the unified theory. Their present and future operations are first put absolute totality in mind, which is in fact boundless. Here it is not only interagency, interdepartmental, cross-fields, the best is the absolute totality. Therefore, even the field of OSINT is subject to the historical tendency towards total integration. The unified OSINT act among all IC organizations and partners is ideal if they don’t fall into the demon of ‘political correctness.’ The IC of the US is conscious of it, while the relative counterpart of HK is still just the police force in ordinary means.


1.     OSINT both enables other intelligence collection disciplines and delivers unique intelligence value of its own; allowing the IC to leverage its exquisite collection capabilities more efficiently and effectively. As the open-source environment continues to expand and evolve at breakneck speed, the ability to extract actionable insights from vast amount of open-source data will only increase in importance.

2.     Because of the unclassified nature of open-source information, OSINT presents a unique opportunity among collection disciplines to explore new partnership models to speed the adoption of new tools and tradecraft.

3.     The IC OSINT Strategy provides the framework for integrating OSINT more fully into IC workflows, tradecraft, and all-source analysis, while ensuring appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties. To advance the OSINT discipline, the IC will streamline data acquisition, develop innovative technologies to collect and derive insight from open-source data, strengthen the coordination of open-source collection activities across the community, update and standardize OSINT tradecraft, and develop a highly skilled OSINT workforce.

Avril Haines and William J. Burns. (March 8, 2024). The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026, The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), p.2.


▪️ Avoiding redundancy (of information, intelligence, and investment) and expanding data (information and intelligence) across the entire IC and its partners are the same thing at the same time as mentioned above. The grand integration, unification is the historical tendency to achieve the maximum efficiency. Thus, they are here talking about this subject/object from a perspective. 


For terminology, information is further categorized into Publicly Available Information (PAI) and Commercially Available Information (CAI). 


Interoperability is one of the weak points of HKSARG due to the crony capitalist bureaucracy. It’s always in question in the eyes of Hong Kong citizens. 


1.     Coordinate the acquisition of open-source data to avoid redundancy and expand data sharing, as appropriate, to enable mission and ensure the most efficient use of IC resources.

2.     Expanding the accessibility of Publicly Available Information (PAI) and Commercially Available Information (CAI) will maximize the return on IC investment and increase the value of open-source data and tools across all IC missions.

3.     To ensure the most efficient acquisition models and broadest possible sharing of data across the community, OSINT leaders will partner with IC Data Officers and others to coordinate the distributed acquisition of PAI and CAI, with consideration for its ethical and appropriate use, consistent with law and policy. These processes will consider the value and necessity of the data for IC mission uses, as well as the equities of multi-mission departments and agencies when acquiring data for both intelligence and non-intelligence purposes.

4.     The OSINT community will leverage ongoing efforts to enhance data management across the IC through the development of interoperability and data tagging standards to ensure data reaches mission users in a timely and usable manner.

5.     Align and manage open-source collection efforts across the IC to enhance the speed and awareness of collection while avoiding duplication of effort.


Avril Haines and William J. Burns. (March 8, 2024). The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026, The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), p.3.

▪️ The first citation is a gem from this page. These skilfully written paragraphs indicate difficulties and problems the IC is suffering at present. Thus, these goals are suggested solutions and directions of their subsequent actions. Deconfliction is to maximize efficiency, yet it must avoid the curse of political correctness, otherwise, both data and the intelligence easily become propaganda lies which will conversely put the nation into jeopardy. If the US overcomes the curse of political correctness, it will be an advantage against China or everyone else, undoubtedly. As we know, it’s enormously difficult under circumstances. Hence, the Tenth Man Rule is better if it’s allowed.   


1.     Going forward, IC open-source collection efforts will require sustained coordination and deconfliction through existing OSINT governing bodies. This deconfliction is necessary both within the OSINT community and across intelligence collection disciplines to ensure that the IC is not expending its most sensitive collection capabilities to obtain intelligence that can be derived from open-source information.

2.     Develop and adopt sophisticated tools to exploit open-source data and information.

3.     The rapid expansion of open-source data and platforms requires the IC to constantly adapt its tools and tradecraft to sustain the ability to deliver timely and credible open-source information to policymakers and war fighters at speed and scale, and in a range of formats tailored to various mission and consumer requirements.

4.     The OSINT community is already pioneering new uses of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and human language technologies for the OSINT mission.

5.     Establish and evolve common OSINT tradecraft standards and an IC workforce capable of identifying, extracting, and delivering insights from open-source data and information in the dynamic open-source technology landscape. The growth of generative artificial intelligence (GAI) presents both opportunities and risks for OSINT tradecraft. GAI can be a powerful tool to enable timely and insightful OSINT production, including by aiding the identification of common themes or patterns in underlying data and quickly summarizing large amounts of text.


Avril Haines and William J. Burns. (March 8, 2024). The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026, The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), pp.4-5.


▪️ We are already in human-machine teaming and, naturally, because our smartphones and CPUs themselves are applying these technologies - coordinated by tech companies, service providers - in our daily activities. AI is good at pure mathematical calculations, reference, translation, and corrections, especially in writing. Yet, it still doesn’t replace our knowing and thinking. The traditional advantages of humans are still an advantage.


1.     OSINT tradecraft and training must be updated and refined to mitigate the potential risks of GAI, including inaccuracies and hallucinations. The OSINT community should be at the forefront of the IC in testing the use of GAI and developing and evolving the tradecraft for its use. This tradecraft will set the standards for the human-machine teaming that will be the foundation of OSINT in the future.


Avril Haines and William J. Burns. (March 8, 2024). The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026, The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), p.5.


▪️Here the first citation gives their organizational chart between the IC and DoD. The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance still doesn’t define the difference under a situation in which HKSAR itself is deprived of diplomacy and military while their designated enemies are in full capability of diplomacy and military.


Also, The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance doesn’t clearly deal with GEOINT (intelligence exploited from geospatial information) and MASINT (it deprives signature intelligence from radar, acoustic, nuclear, chemical, biological measures etc.) specifically. In the same way, OSINT itself is free from it.


1.     The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) serves as the OSINT Functional Manager (OSFM) for the IC and delegates day-to-day functional management responsibilities to the Director of the Open-Source Enterprise (D/OSE) to oversee and guide open-source activities across the IC. CIA, as the Open-Source Functional Manager, works in close collaboration with the Defense Intelligence Enterprise Manager for OSINT at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the IC OSINT Executive at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to develop IC policy and coordinate resource requests. The OSINT Executive also supports the implementation of the OSINT Strategy by establishing defined roles and responsibilities for IC elements as part of a federated OSINT enterprise and ensuring alignment between the IC’s and Department of Defense’s open-source activities.

2.     Within the IC, the designated Functional Managers for their respective intelligence disciplines (commonly referred to as “INTs”) are D/CIA for Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and OSINT; Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency for Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT); Director, Defense Intelligence Agency for Measurement and Signatures Intelligence (MASINT); and Director, National Security Agency for Signals Intelligence (SIGINT).  


Avril Haines and William J. Burns. (March 8, 2024). The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026, The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), p.6.



🔻 COMMENT 【評語】


The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026 shows the vast advantages of the IC of the United States, while Hong Kong still doesn’t even have its own IC. Therefore, the law enforcement of The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance is still done by the police force in sheer contrast to the fully-established IC of the United States.  



Hong Kong Intelligence Report #123 Review of The Safeguarding National Security Ordinance and The IC OSINT Strategy 2024-2026

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