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No Criminal Is an Island

From ISIS to Q-Anon, criminal networks, and financial frauds: large-scale violence and crime are rarely the work of isolated individuals. “Networked actors” like these are increasingly notorious for their widespread use of social media to communicate, recruit, disseminate ideology, and plan violent or criminal action. But their Twitter proficiency is a…

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Documenting Destruction in Myanmar's Rakhine State With Openly Available Satellite Imagery

Myanmar has been thrown into turmoil after the military seized power and detained the country's democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and other members of her government at the beginning of February. Dozens of people have been arrested during country-wide protests, and several have been killed. 

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Clubhouse for OSINT Investigations

Introduction Clubhouse is a new type of social network based entirely on voice rather than text, images, or videos. Clubhouse allows people to join clubs and have conversations with each other in real-time. It’s mobile-based, iOS only, and is gaining in popularity very quickly. With any new social networking platform, it’s important to understand how…

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Operational Security in the Battle for Press Freedom

Attacks on journalists are no longer the preserve of war zones and authoritarian states. Reports over the last year have indicated a worrying rise in attacks, not in areas of armed conflict, but across the world’s democracies including Europe and the United States. This trend is likely to continue amid a persistent global climate of civil unrest,…

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The Evidence Challenge

During 2020, financial and white-collar crime have reached record highs, while public prosecution has reached record lows. If the low prosecution rates of high-level executives after the last financial crisis are anything to go by, these statistics are unlikely to improve in the near future. With the right open source intelligence (OSINT) capabilities,…

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From The Age of Information to The Age of Intelligence

We live in a world where information is everywhere but rarely exploited to its full potential. The distinction between information and intelligence has long been established in specialist sectors. But in the broader world, and even within these sectors, the terms are often used interchangeably. As a result, vast amounts of valuable information are…

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Tracking Illegal Horse Poaching With Satellite Imagery, Public Records, and Crowdsourcing

A series of gruesome killings at the end of 2019 shook horse owners in Florida: Three horses were stolen and brutally butchered--most likely for consumption--in the state in less than two weeks. Owners had to fear that their animals would be next, and they wondered who the perpetrators were.  

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A Fraud with Your Name on It: The Use and Abuse of OSINT in Identity Fraud

Identity fraud is on the rise. The digital shift of the pandemic has affected virtually every activity and sector: including financial crime, and the malicious theft of personal information. This is a problem not just for individuals but for businesses too. Employees’ “personal” information often includes data used to access internal systems, company…

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Hunting for Open Secrets: How OSINT Can Help You Intercept a Scandal

For centuries, access to information was limited by human, geographic, and technological limitations. Corruption was typically a conversation behind closed doors. Fast forward to the year 2021, and information is everywhere. That means the conversation is often closer - and more accessible - than you might think. Sometimes it’s held right in the middle…

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Justice in a Virtual World: Will a Post-Lockdown Move Online Make Justice More Accessible?

Even before Coronavirus struck, there were calls for greater online facilitation of legal processes. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), less than 50 percent of people live under the protection of the law. In contrast, more than 50 percent of people have access to the internet in one way or another. That’s to…

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