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Social Media Analytics for National Security

Social media has evolved into an extremely powerful tool, not only for its users, but also for the public data it provides. In our digital age, social media intelligence is a critical component for keeping people and nations safe.

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We know how open-source intelligence is moving up the priority list for intelligence professionals. Social media intelligence has emerged within the realm of open sources to support security initiatives. While social media sites are a valuable source of security information, they also present intelligence teams with a number of challenges

What exactly is social media intelligence, and how can intelligence teams effectively use it in today's information environment?

What is Social Media Intelligence?

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Social Media Intelligence is the process of collecting and analyzing social media data to gain meaningful insights, usually using specialized tools and methodologies, known as social media intelligence. The term "social media monitoring" is also used to describe the general practice of gathering and analyzing public social media activity, though not always in the context of intelligence. "Social listening" refers to the collection of larger data sets in order to extract general trends and insights, and it is frequently used in commercial and marketing applications

Why is Social Media Intelligence Valuable for National security?

SOCMINT is useful in national security for a variety of reasons. The spread of social media provides analysts with a wealth of security information that would otherwise be unavailable via other channels, such as classified INTs.

Social media intelligence also sheds light on broader trends in a specific information environment. This provides more comprehensive insights, especially when other intelligence types concentrate on specific targets rather than broad populations.

How do Social Media Intelligence Tools Address These Challenges?

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In a country like India, Internal security forces are becoming overburdened as a result of armed struggle and separatist calls from across the country.

  • Provoking statements made in the news media

  • Increase in divisive propaganda on social media

  • Unusual funds transfer from foreign countries

  • Unusual pattern of cash withdrawal

  • Rapid increase in SIM card sales

  • Changes in an area's demographic pattern

  • An area's economic activity

  • Face recognition using video analytics

Details of all of the activities listed above are available in the public domain. The problem is that this is unstructured data, which makes it difficult to generate appropriate analytical insights.

This is where modern big data analytics platforms, such as Databricks, come in. These platforms can ingest information from thousands of streams of data in a variety of formats.

The majority of the data for ingesting can be obtained from the service providers themselves as a statutory requirement.

As more data is ingested, the data that drives the Social Analytics Dashboard and the Occurrence Predictability Model can be refined to improve accuracy.

Social Media Intelligence is a newer intelligence discipline in the government. Emerging technologies assist in addressing common challenges associated with large-scale leveraging of public social data, such as data overload, information gaps and data privacy.

Hope this blog is informative and interesting and we are taking these steps on a journey that benefits all of us.

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