What is signals intelligence?

Signals Intelligence is a category of intelligence gathering, most often by military or intelligence agency personnel, comprised of the messages and data of one or more parties and collected using any combination of communications, electronic, or foreign instrumentation signals intelligence, regardless of how the information was transmitted. This could include verbal communications, written messages, data from radar or weapons systems, and more. 

Also known in the defense community as SIGINT, the core purpose of signals intelligence is to learn about threats, actions, capabilities, and intentions of a nation's adversaries. SIGINT serves as a window into what military and other threats a nation may need to defend against and, thus, can also become a roadmap for the most effective courses of action to explore or implement to assure readiness.

In addition to Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), modern military and intelligence agency leaders also rely on Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT), Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT), Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Technical Intelligence (TECHINT), Cyber Intelligence (CYBINT), Financial Intelligence (FININT), Multiple Intelligence (Multi-INT), and more.


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