It was late 2018, and Technisette contacted me and Benjamin Strick to ask whether we would like to speak at a conference of the Dutch police, called DEX-XL. The reason was, that several months earlier we were part of a large group of people that investigated the extrajudicial murders in northern Cameroon, and the Dutch police were keen on hearing all the details at their conference. Working as a security officer I rarely gave presentations to large groups of people, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I gladly accepted the invitation.
At the conference I met Nico 'Dutch Osint Guy' Nico and Technisette again, whom I both met before on several occasions. But I also finally got the chance to talk to Micah Hoffman and Loránd Bodó. We spent the days at the conference mostly together, and got along really well. Soon we all found out that we had something to say about the quality of OSINT information that was shared online at the time. We all read blog posts that shared tips or techniques we would never endorse, for example. And so a moment came, late in the evening on December 5, 2018, that an idea was proposed by Micah Hoffman.
He had been holding on to an interesting domain name for several years already, but didn't have any use for it until then. If we wanted to share our knowledge with the world, we could set up a website about open source intelligence and investigative techniques, and share it with the community for free. It was that evening, in the outskirts of the Dutch town of Arnhem, that The OSINT Curious Project was officially born. The next four years we worked on creating blog posts, shared or created investigative techniques and our knowledge, had dozens of live streams, and interviewed a lot of people on our webcast.
We had guest authors writing articles or cross-posting their content, we invited new people to join our group, and were being asked to talk at several conferences over the years. We became a well established brand, with a lot of knowledge, run by people from all walks of life. From maritime experts, to information security specialists, and from members of law enforcement to genealogists. We were able to talk about pretty much any topic, could answer nearly every question, or give advice on all sorts of subject due to this wonderful mix of people.
All of this was done in the bit of spare time we had, and we did it with love. But sadly enough, it seemed that 2022 was a very busy year for all members, especially after most lockdown restrictions were lifted. Many of us had very busy and demanding jobs, and it was becoming difficult to balance work with our project. I certainly really struggled with finding enough time to fully commit to our project, while trying to keep my Week in OSINT going, and trying to enjoy some time for myself.
Around that time, we found out there were more trustworthy resources sharing OSINT tips and techniques. The main reason why we started this project, the lack of a good resource, wasn't there any more. So after some deliberation, we agreed that after about four years, it was time for us to say goodbye on March 4, 2023 to our audience in our very last live stream. We could have dragged it on for some time, pushing out low quality content at irregular intervals, but we couldn't do that to the large follower base we established over time.
Everyone who worked on TOCP is proud of what was achieved over the years. For me personally, it has been an honour to be part of this wonderful group of people that I admire and respect. Thank you all, for this wonderful ride. And whatever happens, make sure to stay:
PS: This is about the ending of TOCP, not my personal website, nor my Week in OSINT. So don't worry, I'm not going anywhere!