If the digital revolution has transformed modern societies and durably changed our lives, it has also changed the nature and methods of committing crimes. And this is also true for terrorism: organisations such as the Islamic State have distinguished themselves through massive use of new information technologies. Nowadays, online propaganda and social media are still an essential tool for a number of terrorist groups. Internet is used to disseminate an ideology, for recruiting purposes, communication and organisation purposes, as well as for facilitated access to funds and weapons.
For this reason, it is essential for law enforcement to make detection and investigation more effective in the cyberspace.
Last week, ten countries participated in the Euromed Police Action targeting terrorist investigation in the cyberspace. Following the presentation of the Euromed Manual on Digital Evidence last April in Lisbon, the workshop has allowed experts from partner countries to share their experience concerning investigation techniques on the Internet and social media. The Action took place at the Royal Institute of Police in Kenitra, also known as the training centre for Morocco’s internal security forces, where about 20 experts could learn from each other and spread the technics and procedures used in their respective countries.
During three days, the programme touched upon all the aspects and steps of a terrorist investigation online: from open source intelligence methods, the work of undercover agents to the ways of processing the information collected. Were also discussed: the types of information that can be collected from search engines and different social media, as well as judicial protocols for the admissibility of the information in court.
During the action, the experts exchanged about the challenges they face and the way to overcome them. In this regard, the Euromed Manual on Digital Evidence was highlighted as a suitable tool to engage with the so-called Communication and Internet Service Providers.
Also, the event was the occasion to promote transborder cooperation. International cooperation is crucial in online investigations since information and potential evidences flow freely across borders.