As the online world continues to grow and evolve, LEAs often struggle to keep pace with the level of technological enterprise that criminals employ when conducting illegal activity online. In particular, the distribution of illegal content online is an increasing concern. New automated tools and techniques are at the centre of the UINFC2 approach to help in the automated identification of such content and then sharing this information with other agencies across Europe to reduce duplication of work and improve their ability to ‘connect the dots’ between crimes committed in the online and offline worlds.
UINFC2 aimed to build and strengthen the capabilities of LEAs, citizens and EU bodies to strategically combat the distribution of child sexual exploitation (CSE) material online. In order to achieve this, UINFC2 designed, developed and pilot tested a multi-lingual, online platform for automatically detecting online illegal content from social media, blogs, and underground communities and used this to determine investigative priorities. The project made use of the latest technological innovations in the areas of data mining, intelligence, correlation, fuzziness, classification, automatic monitoring, and decision making, to produce clear but comprehensive reports that can be used by law enforcement in their day-to-day roles in preventing, investigating and fighting CSE. In particular, UINFC2 focusing on online Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and facilitated the formal exchange of compiled information, produced by intelligent analysis of online intelligence in order to enhance collaboration and effectively counteract cybercrime, supporting the mission of the recently founded European Cybercrime Centre (EC3, EUROPOL) by producing reports on cybercrime trends and emerging threats in order to provide comparable statistics among Member States.
In the project, I undertook the role of supporting the coordinating organisation KEMEA in providing academic and end-user focused security expertise, ensuring the project’s engagement with end-user LEAs and NGOs, such as the international network of InHope hotlines, and alignment with their respective real-world requirements through the organisation and facilitation of focus and working groups.