On Thursday, January 27, is the first meeting of the new BIGOSINT European project “Countering THB through big data and OSINT analysis” Funded by the European Commission under the Internal Security Fund – Police.
This project brings together four organizations including the Euro-Arab Foundation, the Prosecutor of the Ordinary Court of Trento (Italy) who will coordinate the project, Agenfor International (Italy) and the Faculty of Public Administration of Bremen (Germany) to face the new challenges and new forms of exploitation of Human Trafficking. As emphasised in the UNODC 2020 GLOTIP Report, the web facilitates highly targeted victim recruitment, access to an infinite number of victims, anonymity for offenders and profiteers, covering the traces of financial transactions, and new, devastating forms of exploitation.
As an extension of the EU-funded project UNCHAINED, BIGOSINT will develop and pilot advanced, intelligence-led tools to enhance investigations into internet-abetted trafficking in human beings (THB), directly targeting the diverse roles that the cyber-environment plays in the THB chain.
BIGOSINT matches Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and cryptocurrency analysis with the FAST Platform, a solid investigative software within an intelligence-led policing approach aimed at bringing perpetrators to justice and differentiating victims from traffickers in a proportionate, legal, accountable and necessary manner.
Through specialized software gathering and untumbling blockchain data and cryptowallets, and profiling-oriented OSINT solutions, anti-trafficking multiagency teams with judicial oversight are able to proactively detect existing online markets and networks, collect human-rights compliant digital forensic evidence, share information and develop enforcement countermeasures by leveraging on public-private partnership.
The BIGOSINT investigative techniques will be piloted for a period of 20 weeks, supported by innovative LEA training on implementation of the tools, the dynamics of internet-facilitated THB, and models for cross-border and inter-agency cooperation. Training will reach 100 LEAs from three pilot countries using the training of the trainer methodology, incorporating innovative virtual reality training, immersing participants in simulated scenarios based on real-life cases.
National inter-agency teams will be established in 3 Member States and a Communication Toolkit will be deployed to support the protection of potential victims, and vulnerable groups in particular.
In that project, FUNDEA will be in charge of the Work Package 2 ‘Understanging the THB investigative cycle’ which aims to deepen relevant practitioners understanding of investigations on the THB cycle in the cyber environment.