For the past few weeks, the PRISM team has been diligently working to test the new version of PRISM. We are proud to announce that, after months of development, we have finally released PRISM V2. As we discussed in an earlier post, Version 1 was originally developed for internal users. In order to test our features and gain valuable feedback from external users, we launched a Pilot Program with select law enforcement agencies across the US. They found bugs, identified workflow issues, gave valuable critiques, and made feature wish lists, which allowed us to greatly approve upon PRISM in V2. Here are some of the big changes to the tool.
As analysts and
investigators, we need to be able to more efficiently work throughout a
project. Previously, it was cumbersome to search for usernames, scrape data,
and build out user profiles. Our analysts and Pilot Program users identified
ways to expedite these processes. PRISM now has additional buttons to add
profiles, add usernames, edit projects, and upload documents directly from the
workbench. This allows users to spend less time clicking between areas of the
tool and more time reviewing content.
Exporting & Authentication
Before, PRISM only
exported data into Microsoft Word formatted Rich Text (.rtf), Microsoft Excel
XML format spreadsheet (.xlsx), and Comma-separated Value Plain Text (.csv)
formats. As many of our users have additional needs, we expanded this selection
to include Microsoft Access database (.accdb) and Adobe Portable Document
Format (.pdf) files. All of these files include the MD5 hash values associated
with each individual result for authentication purposes.
In addition, users can
now download individual search results and native files to their computer in
.pdf and Flash Video (.flv) formats. When these files are downloaded, a record
of each download is created in an uneditable system log. This log can then be
exported into .pdf format and will include information such as the hash value
for the content downloaded and which specific result it came from. We added
this feature to assist law enforcement agencies with evidence gathering and
Previously, PRISM was designed
as a case management system for individual profiles and groups of individuals.
Over the course of testing, we discovered that both our analysts and Pilot
Program users desired the ability to search in real-time across social media
sites to find information about topics pertinent to their projects. In
response, we built a topic monitor. Users now have the ability to search
real-time content originating from Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Reddit,
Twitter, and YouTube. All of these results can be highlighted to showcase
important words, filtered down by word exclusion, and saved both within PRISM
and locally on the user’s device.
Now that PRISM V2 is
released, subscriptions are available to all organizations. To learn more about
PRISM or to get a demonstration, contact Blake Haase at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
It is fall, so it must be conference season. From September through October, members of the PRISM team will be in various locations across the country. Last week, three members of the PRISM team were in Omaha for the SMILE Conference. As we have a great relationship with law enforcement agencies, we thought it was pertinent to share some of the major takeaways from #smilecon.
Law Enforcement Agencies are Successfully Using Social Media
For those of you who are not familiar with SMILE, it is a conference at which law enforcement agencies network with one another and share best practices regarding the use of social media in law enforcement, from both a marketing and investigative perspective. It allows these agencies to learn new, innovative ways to harness the power of social media to build relationships with the community and combat crime. Throughout the conference, many speakers discussed how their agencies are successfully using social media to keep tabs on known offenders, curtail gang activity, monitor events, respond to disasters, and conduct undercover investigations. Officer Eric Draeger of the Milwaukee Police Department spoke about his department’s success doing a multitude of those things at once: They successfully use social media to disrupt gang activity and prevent incidents from occurring at large public gatherings.
Data Fusion is Imperative
As we wrote about from our experience at the i2 User Conference, agencies are integrating a variety of data sources into their process. With the proliferation of social media activity, law enforcement agencies now understand the fundamental need to incorporate social media data into their day-to-day operations. Social media records are now combined with traditional investigative data to conduct more thorough investigations. At SMILE, many agencies reported impressive results using social media information in their investigative processes.
Tools are a Must
In order to conduct social media monitoring and investigations, law enforcement agencies need tools. Nearly every presenter at SMILE was using some form of tool to assist them with the investigative process. The amount of readily available social media data is unfathomable and can be extremely overwhelming. Investigators and analysts must rely on tools to assist them with harvesting, processing, and analyzing social media data. Otherwise, they would be inundated with records and have difficulty making timely analyses.
Every time we go to a conference, we learn something new that allows us to improve our products and services for our clients. SMILE was no exception. We have been following trends of the use of social media, embracement of data fusion, and need for social media tools in law enforcement for some time now. It is one of the main reasons we developed PRISM. Both the i2 User Conference and SMILE reinforced our use of social media, data fusion, and PRISM in our investigative process.
About CES PRISM Blog
- CES PRISM
- The CES PRISM blog is the place where CES shares the newest developments in social media sites and tools, data analytics, eDiscovery, investigations, and intelligence. We will also share workflow tips and tricks, case studies, and the developmental progress of our open source social media research and analysis tool, PRISM. Our goal is to open a dialogue with the community which allows all of us to learn together.