Cobwebs Technologies Discusses the European Commission’s New Counter-Terrorism Agenda and How It Can Be Tackled Using Automated Web Investigation Technologies

The European Commission published “A Counter-Terrorism Agenda for the EU: Anticipate, Prevent, Protect, Respond” and announced in the EU Security Union Strategy for 2020 to 2025 the goal of boosting the EU’s resilience.

In a section titled “Reinforcing early detection capacity”, the Agenda emphasizes the crucial role modern technology can play in terror activities and the importance of anticipating threats in order to equip law enforcement with the tools they need to prevent attacks. To achieve this, the Agenda states the EU security research will build initiatives focused on analytical solutions dealing with large amounts of online content, i.e, AI-powered WEBINT for enhanced cybersecurity and threat intelligence. The EU will fund security research to increase early detection capacity and discover new ways of addressing radicalization. Artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions are vital to monitoring and analyzing relevant data throughout the web’s open and hidden layers, which is too vast for manual analysis.

In an effort to provide operational support to strengthen Europol and improve response activity, the Agenda states that Europol must be able to support investigations with big data analyses. In today’s digital world, the ability to analyze and generate insights from large data sets (i.e., big data) is an integral part of police work and cannot be achieved without AI and machine learning capabilities.

In a section titled “Strengthening information exchange”, the Agenda discusses the importance of effective communication between authorities responsible for preventing, investigating, and prosecuting criminal offenses. Europol will need to improve its cooperation with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office as part of a reinforced mandate by the Commission. This will include providing analytical support to the work of the Prosecutor’s Office, and effective and ongoing information exchange between Europol, the Prosecutor’s Office, and the European Anti-Fraud Office.

Throughout the Agenda are mentions of automated systems and their critical role as forensic tools to provide timely insights. One example is mentioned in a section for border security and maritime border protection, stating “The effectiveness of systematic checks depends on the quality and interoperability of EU information systems”, which are expected to be upgraded on a large scale to streamline security and external border controls. It is clear throughout the Agenda that, in order to improve efforts to prevent terror attacks in today’s digital and connected world, the EU and law enforcement agencies will have to adopt solutions that enable large scale data analysis. Information critical to investigations can be found on the open, deep, and dark web, and requires AI and machine learning to effectively aggregate, monitor, and analyze for actionable insights and investigations.

The Agenda’s strategy is stated in the title in four main steps:

●  Anticipate:
Anticipating possible attacks or criminal activity can be done by analyzing relevant content, activity, and sentiment on social media and hidden forums in the deep and dark web. Cobwebs’ prediction capabilities pinpoint indications of possible organized terror or criminal activity, enabling law enforcement agencies to stay one step ahead of criminals and anticipate their next move.

●  Prevent:
Cobwebs’ WEBINT platform provides a visual link analysis, connecting the dots between analyzed data (i.e., content, connections, and more) and displaying it in a visual graph that is easy to understand. This is done by conducting an in-depth analysis of relevant content on the open, deep, and dark web, and generating real-time alerts to enable investigators to prevent criminal activity before it happens.

●  Protect:
Cobwebs conducts in-depth, automated web investigations that generate insights based on extracted and analyzed data from the open, deep, and dark web. The AI-powered WEBINT platform analyzes the data and provides in-depth insights and reports with detailed information about topics, locations, demographics, sentiment, and more for smarter, data-driven decisions.

●  Respond:
Using AI and machine learning algorithms, Cobwebs’ WEBINT platform analyzes data throughout the web’s open and hidden sources in real-time, and generates real-time alerts that help national security agencies respond to threats and attacks as they happen.

Enhanced public safety in today’s digital world is only possible with supporting technology that uses AI and machine learning to fill in the gaps where human capabilities simply can’t deliver. Cobwebs Technologies offers innovative, cutting-edge WEBINT solutions to national security agencies to assist in investigations and help them protect civilians.