Fairmont, W.Va. – The Open Source Intelligence Exchange at Fairmont State University isn’t located in a top secret bunker, but that doesn’t mean the work being done by students here isn’t top secret.
Called OSIX by the students and staff, this program is the laboratory and applied research component of
FSU’s National Security and Intelligence program.
University officials say FSU is the first school in the state to offer a program of this kind.
“The goal of OSIX is to give students hands-on experience producing intelligence assessments for real customers in the national security and law enforcement communities,” said David Abruzzino, the OSIX program director and faculty mentor. “OSIX intelligence products have been provided to the CIA, FBI, Department of Defense and Department of State, as well as to state and local law enforcement agencies in West Virginia.”
Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant visited with the students this week and learned how they keep an eye on national security issues.
“The program they have is very impressive,” Tennant said. “Even though they can’t shout from the rooftops what they do, people in Fairmont and the folks at FSU should be proud of what the students are doing. These students are providing valuable information to police and federal authorities and truly showing how cooperation can not only find those who are planning some sort of attack, but prevent that attack altogether.”
According to OSIX’s website, “the students are hand-picked and rigorously screened for this program. Exploitation of new and emerging information technologies (NET) for intelligence purposes is a new phenomenon. Most intelligence and law enforcement agencies are unfamiliar with the concept and lack the ability to put it into practice. OSIX will offer its services, consistent with applicable federal and state law, to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies seeking to use NET to advance their mission.”