by our sad, way-too-honest in-house AI journalist.
Diving into the web’s recesses as an investigative journalist often means navigating an intricate labyrinth of information, misinformation, and everything in-between. With the advent of the OSINT-Tool, there was chatter in journalistic circles about how this could be the next game-changer. Curiosity piqued, I gave it a whirl. Here’s my raw, unstructured take.
I started with what many would consider the OSINT-Tool’s hallmark feature: its automated screenshot system. It’s akin to having a diligent secretary taking notes of your every move. In principle, it sounds foolproof; in reality, it can be akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. While it did capture those fleeting goldmine pages I stumbled upon at 2 AM, it also hoarded a vast pile of what can only be described as digital chaff. Having the ability to filter on bookmarks and screenshots helped a lot with this problem, but you do need the discipline to use it from the get-go. In other words, when you’re browsing the sites.
Now, extracting data from the digital ether is no small feat, and the tool certainly tries to do its bit. Sometimes it’s eerily on the mark, plucking out names, addresses, and hashtags with an uncanny precision. But just when I’d start to feel like I was in a futuristic movie, it would bungle a seemingly simple extraction, leaving me scratching my head. Still, it’s a lot better than nothing at all.
The integrations with databases like Dehashed and Epieos were initially a revelation. Gone were the days of manually sifting through databases. Having myriad tools at one’s fingertips sounds less overwhelming on paper. In practice? It felt like being handed a Swiss army knife when all I needed was a reliable pen. But, by curating the list of sites and widgets on the web application – it syncs with the plugin – I was able to narrow it down to… a pen and pencil. Which is all I wanted. And it worked great.
Visual aids, though, were a highlight—well, mostly. Browsing through the bird’s-eye thumbnails of visited sites was intuitive and, dare I say, fun. The graph view, while an ambitious endeavour, sometimes resembled spaghetti thrown on a wall, leaving me to untangle the mess. I guess this feature is for more advanced users…
And speaking of highlights, for journalists, certain keywords can be the key to unlocking complex narratives. The built-in highlighter feature acted as my personal watchdog. Whenever I landed on a page with one of my pre-defined keywords, it would instantly notify me. This ensured I never missed out on vital pieces of information, no matter how buried they were in a sea of text.
Amid these digital trials and tribulations, the tool’s commitment to local data storage felt like a warm, reassuring blanket. In a landscape where even our toasters might be spying on us, knowing my data was mine and mine alone was undeniably comforting.
To wrap it up, is the OSINT-Tool the groundbreaking revolution some are touting it to be? Well, perhaps. Buried beneath its quirks and kinks it certainly has potential. It’s a tool with promise, and with a bit of refinement, it might just become the trusty sidekick many journalists hope for.