Big Data for Law Enforcement – Social Media Use

We’ve collected some good reads and visuals on the use of social media in law enforcement.

The above survey found that 92.4% of law enforcement agencies use social media. The most common social media use by survey respondents was for criminal investigations, 77.1%.

The information available in the Deep Web for police goes beyond the reach of real-life investigation.

Big Data and Law Enforcement

Big Data can be the missing puzzle piece needed to crack a difficult case, identify new threats, and monitor communication that may be vital in keeping communities safe. Criminals exploit whatever technology is available; therefore it’s vital for law enforcement to be monitoring the same technology platforms.

Pattern and trend analysis derived from Big Data can paint a virtual picture of a criminal’s pattern-of-life. If the same person uses a social network to advertise illegal drugs at the same time every day, it’s likely that person will keep advertising drugs within that same time-frame until that person is caught.

Big Data analysis can also track threats and potential attacks by monitoring online communication against “red flag” term lists and threaded conversations between individuals of interest.

Between all of the social media outlets, message boards, and forums, monitoring what is being said and who is saying it is extremely difficult. With the right Internet monitoring tools, law enforcement can proactively stay ahead of criminal activity instead of only reacting to it.

Solution for Monitoring Data on Twitter

BrightPlanet has been working, in concert with a number of police departments, to create a Social Media Monitor specifically to track and monitor Twitter and send alerts. BrightPlanet’s Social Media Monitor is a solution for investigators seeking to exploit location-based data from Twitter, saving valuable time by filtering out noise and viewing only relevant results.

Benefits of the social media monitor include:

  • Geolocation – When a name or “red flag” keyword is present in a tweet and location services are “on”, Twitter users can be tagged against a latitude/longitude location in near real-time.
  • User Timeline View – Users can be tracked by user name, “red flag” keywords,  tweet and follower analytics, and recent posted photos and videos.
  • Keyword Alerts – In the User view, keywords can be tracked and highlighted in near real-time, along with audio alerts for user-specified bad guys.

More Information on Online Intelligence

For more information on how intelligence can be gathered from Big Data in the Deep Web, read our whitepaper.


Photo: downing.amanda