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About

“Open Briefing has the potential to equip campaigners with the information they need to expose wrong-doing and to identify alternative solutions.”
Gemma Mortensen, chief global officer, Change.org

Open Briefing is the world’s first civil society intelligence agency. We are a unique international team of former intelligence, military, law enforcement and government professionals and specialists in humanitarian action, human rights and peacebuilding. Our mission is to protect and inform all those striving for social and environmental justice, particularly those working in or on fragile and conflict-affected states or under repressive regimes.

Open Briefing prioritises four key areas of action:

Innovation: We drive transformation in the way that NGOs and journalists view and use intelligence and security to effectively assist vulnerable communities and drive positive change.

Protection: We provide low-cost, high-impact intelligence, security, training and equipment services to organisations and individuals who are working to protect people and the planet.

Transparency: We deliver a public open-source intelligence service so that all citizens can know what is really going on in the world.

Accountability: We scrutinise the actions of governments and militaries and generate alternative policies that emphasise diplomacy, human rights and the rule of law.

Our flagship security risk management and intelligence services include:

  • Responding to requests for intelligence from NGOs.
  • Carrying out country risk assessments for project teams.
  • Providing a public open source intelligence service.
  • Deploying emergency extraction and evacuation teams.
  • Providing remote medical support over the telephone or internet.
  • Comprehensive hostile environment awareness training (HEAT).
  • Advanced first aid training for aid workers, freelance journalists and others.
  • Cyber security training, including insider threat management.
  • Supplying the best first aid kits on the market.
  • Supplying a full body armour package for freelance journalists and others.
  • Renting satellite phones to those working in remote locations.
  • Undertaking innovative research on defence and security issues.
  • And much more…

Open Briefing is a groundbreaking non-profit social enterprise founded in 2011. We are staffed by professionals, supported by volunteers and funded by charitable grants and public donations.

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Ethical framework

Open Briefing is:

  • a signatory of the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief;
  • bound by the Code of Conduct for Members of the International NGO Safety and Security Association;
  • a member or associate member of the Humanitarian Practice Network, the International NGO Safety & Security Association (INSSA), British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND); the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) and the UK Cyber Security Forum;
  • a certified member of Social Enterprise UK;
  • a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, and has been awarded a bronze award by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS);
  • a member of the UK government’s Disability Confident scheme, and has been awarded a Level 1 certificate; and
  • a signatory of the Charter for employers who are positive about mental health.

“Issues of security and defence are often the least transparent to the public. Open Briefing is an important contribution to ensuring democratic oversight of governments and armies.”
John Feffer, co-director, Foreign Policy in Focus