Foreign Broadcast Information Service

Foreign Broadcast Information Service

Foreign Broadcast Information Service

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Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was an open source intelligence component of the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Science and Technology. It monitored, translated, and disseminated within the U.S. government openly available news and information from media sources outside the United States. Its headquarters was in Reston, Virginia , and it maintained 19 overseas monitoring stations worldwide. In November 2005, it was announced that FBIS would become the newly-formed Open Source Center, tasked with the collection and analysis of freely-available intelligence.


In February 1941, President Roosevelt directed that $150,000 be allocated for creation of the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service (FBMS) under the authority of the Federal Communications Commission. The mandate of the FBMS was to record, translate, transcribe and analyze shortwave propaganda radio programs that were being beamed at the United States by the Axis powers. Its first monitoring station was established October 1941 in Portland, Oregon.

With the end of World War II, the FBMS was transferred to the Department of the Army. Like many other wartime organizations, the FBMS was threatened with disbandment. The possibility of its disbandment was roundly criticized in many different quarters, which helped ensure its survival.

In the 1947 the National Security Act of 1947, was created and the FBMS was renamed the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) as a part of the CIA. Its...
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