Using OSINT for Good: Top 3 Trends of 2022

Over the last few years, law enforcement executives have increasingly adopted open-source intelligence (OSINT) technology as the missing piece in the modern-day fight to protect communities and organizations from crime and threats. These organizations are discovering how integrating open-source intelligence into other investigative solutions and tactics can provide critical insights in the most accessible ways, to enhance the investigative work that is already being done. This discovery continues as we see a larger presence of open-source intelligence professionals in law enforcement and policing integrating this data into operations across the country.

Organizations are ramping up their usage of automated OSINT technologies to become more efficient investigators and analysts and to fill gaps that understaffed agencies are experiencing. “OSINT for good” is a key trend we’ve seen 2022 and will continue to see into 2023 with safety-focused philanthropic organizations beginning to embrace the need for open source intelligence as well.

Three Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) Trends in 2022:

  1. OSINT for Safer Communities

Violent crime is on the rise throughout the United States. From increases in robberies in big cities, to increases in assaults in smaller communities, law enforcement is using all available resources to address these crime trends and community concerns. Many of these areas are also experiencing economic downturns. Law enforcement executives in these affected communities are recognizing the need for an open-source intelligence platform to aid in threat detection, lead development and violence prevention.

Due to limited resources, investigators in both major cities and local areas cannot keep up with the case load, but with the right OSINT solution, agencies are developing leads and the evidence needed to move forward with closing a case quickly. By implementing automated investigative solutions, detectives and analysts are relieving some of this investigative burden through automated searches, analysis and monitoring of online activity.  We believe automated investigative platforms for evidence collection and monitoring of online activity will continue far into the future to help alleviate the need for manual investigative work.

  1. Technology Fills the Gaps for Staffing

As technology continues to advance in our everyday lives, so will the need for more advanced technology adoption in law enforcement. Law enforcement executives, grappling with a lack of resources, are realizing that technology can supplement hands-on support in many ways. As departments struggle to fill open positions, police executives will continue to leverage technology to fill staffing gaps. We experienced it this year as we saw more chiefs using technology for things like physical ticket writing and speed monitoring.  This will expand to investigative support as well, minimizing manual work through automated solutions.

  1. Technologically Savvy Executives

As police executives implement new technology to help with staffing gaps, they also are becoming savvier about how technology can also enhance daily policing operations. Chiefs and Sheriffs understand the need for additional investigative tools because of how quickly apps, phones and other devices are evolving. Additionally, with the increase in the use of cryptocurrency for fraud, human trafficking and drug trafficking, police chiefs are looking at how OSINT solutions and training can be implemented to investigate these transactions in a more efficient way.

Closing out 2022

As technology and automated open source intelligence continue to evolve and law enforcement adapt to limited resources, agencies are tapping into the power of OSINT for good, to make their jobs more efficient and successful, and in turn, make communities safer.

 

Johnmichael O’Hare

Lieutenant Johnmichael O’Hare retired from the Hartford Police (CT) in 2018. His career elevated investigative units that specifically attacked narcotics and firearms violence. In 2013, he was tasked with creating a Real-Time Intelligence Center that could support critical functions & provide analytical and forensic back support. He currently serves as a Business Development/Sales Director with Cobwebs Technologies with a focus on Threat Network Identification & Interdiction in the Web Intelligence Realm.

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