Digital technologies have changed everything. The enthusiastic embrace of digital technologies is not only powerfully represented in the 289 million Twitter users and nearly one-and-a-half billion Facebook accounts, but also offers a new route to exploitation by threat groups. From extremism, to foreign state espionage, cyber threats, or proliferation activities, the use of online means to recruit and task vulnerable citizens is adding an unwelcome burden on the high pressure workload of national security agencies.
Faced with the virtually limitless scope and scale of digital technologies, it is more vital than ever to stay one step ahead of security threats. But gaining real-time insights from a large, fragmented and ever-changing pool of data is like looking for a needle in a haystack—one that is expanding at an ever-increasing pace.
Current approaches to the collection, analysis, development and use of intelligence from open-source information (including social media, websites, blogs, online news, web fora, and similar) are already outdated. Using emerging digital technologies to process and present this information effectively offers national security agencies a more effective route to preventing threats and outsmarting violent extremists.
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