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Cops can now peep into social media accounts

Cops can now peep into social media accounts
Highlights

Social media networks in India have grown exponentially. With over 250 million internet users, every third internet user in India has a personal profile on social media.

Hyderabad: Social media networks in India have grown exponentially. With over 250 million internet users, every third internet user in India has a personal profile on social media.

Internet has facilitated creation of communities and sub-community user groups which use this barrier-free medium to access, share and transmit information.

With radical groups, terrorist and cyber criminals increasingly using internet to plan and execute their evil designs, the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) felt that this information should be studied by the police and law enforcement agencies.

According to BPR&D, the study of information flow on social media will provide fundamental advantage to police. It can be used as an investigating tool in collecting actionable intelligence and even criminal intelligence.

Accordingly, the BPR&D has initiated a project on establishing social media labs as part of the National Police Mission. As part of the project, the IIT Delhi and Department of Electronics and Information Technology have jointly developed an Advanced Application for Social Media Analytics (AASMA).

AASMA literally helps law enforcement agencies peep into the developments of the users, particularly terror elements and cyber crooks, a senior police official told The Hans India.

“This tool helps live data collection and analysis of topics 24X7, live tracking of user posts, monitoring of multiple social networks – Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Google and more.

It helps in advanced search to monitor and track content on the basis of location, time and language,” the official said.

Another official associated with Intelligence department said, the tool sends alerts to officers through email and SMS depending on the criteria set by the officers and it can analyse common followers between any number of user handles.

What is more interesting is that this tool can be used in mobiles as well as tablets. The facility enables faster and effective gathering of actionable intelligence, the official said.

Further, the tool is highly cost effective. It just requires one-time investment of Rs 30 lakh on infrastructure supported by internet connection, three police inspectors, 18 sub-inspectors and 36 police constables supervised by one assistant commissioner of police.

This set up is more than sufficient for round-the-clock monitoring of social media networks, the official said. AASMA is already being used by some state law enforcement agencies and a couple of central intelligence agencies.

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