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Collection And Analysis Of Open Source News For Information Awareness And Early Warning in Nuclear Safeguards

Acquisition and analysis of open source information plays an increasingly important role in the IAEA’s move towards a safeguards system, in which safeguards decisions are based on all information known about a State. The growing volume of open source information poses significant challenges. Meeting these challenges requires development of technology and tools that effectively collect relevant information, filter out "noise", organize valuable information in a clear and accessible manner and assess its relevance. In this context, IAEA’s Division of Information Management (SGIM) and the EC’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) are currently implementing a joint project to advance the effectiveness and efficiency of IAEA’s workflow for open source information collection and analysis. The objective is to provide tools supporting SGIM in the production of the SGIM Open Source Highlights, which is a daily news brief consisting of the most pertinent news stories relevant to safeguards and non-proliferation. The process involves the review and selection of hundreds of articles from a wide array of specifically selected sources. The joint activity exploits JRC’s Europe Media Monitor (EMM) and NewsDesk applications: EMM automatically collects and analyses news articles from a pre-defined list of websites, and NewsDesk allows an analyst to manually select the most relevant articles from the EMM stream for further processing. The paper discusses IAEA’s current workflow for the production of SGIM Open Source Highlights and describes the capabilities of EMM and NewsDesk. It then provides an overview of the joint activities since the project started in 2011, which were focused on testing and evaluating the EMM/NewsDesk for IAEA needs. Finally, it proposes a new workflow based on EMM/NewsDesk, which supports a safeguards system that is fully information driven with an effective and efficient process of collecting and analyzing open source information.