Collecting and analysing web content to tackle terrorism
An EU-funded project aims to deliver an integrated system to detect, collect and analyse huge quantities of terrorist-related web content. This will support counter-terrorism investigation work, helping prevent attacks and saving lives.
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Money underpins terrorism and disruption of financing is vital for fighting it. The EU-funded DANTE project is compiling a set of tools, techniques, processes and algorithms to help law-enforcement authorities discover and monitor terrorist-related activity online. It is focusing in particular on fund-raising, propaganda (including recruitment, incitement, radicalisation and disinformation) and training.
The tool kit is based on existing technologies owned by the partners or made available as open-source software. These are being enhanced with innovative functionalities developed during the project. They include automated data mining, information fusion, reasoning and analytics solutions, as well as intelligence and collaboration applications.
Together, DANTEs solutions comprise a system for gathering and assessing multimedia and multilingual content. This content could come from the surface web (sites accessible to anyone), the deep web (content not indexed by standard search engines) or the dark web (networks requiring specific software, configurations or authorisation).
As well as detecting sources of terrorist-related data, the tools will categorise and summarise content quickly and accurately, perform large-scale analysis of terrorism trends and spot disinformation. They will also identify and monitor individuals and online communities, link pseudonyms with real people, and capture and store data for further analysis.
The system is being demonstrated and validated in three pilot actions focused on propaganda, training, and fund-raising, and overseen by law-enforcement agencies in operational environments.
DANTEs goal is to significantly reduce the time and money needed for terrorism-related investigations, thereby boosting security levels. Furthermore, the project takes full account of legal, ethical and privacy issues and thus should help to improve public perception of security measures to combat online terrorist activities.