Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Developing PRISM: V2 is Here

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.

Faster Workflow

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.

Improved 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 authentication.

Topic Monitoring

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.

Subscribing to PRISM

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

About CES PRISM Blog

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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.