Open Source and Social Media Intelligence Strategies for Criminal Justice Professionals (Part 3)

Open Source and Social Media Intelligence Strategies for Criminal Justice Professionals (Part 3)
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-08-16
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Open Source and Social Media Intelligence Strategies
Unit 2 Transcript: Open Source and Social Media Intelligence Strategies
Unit 3 Workbook: Open Source and Social Media Intelligence Strategies
Unit 4 Recording: Open Source and Social Media Intelligence Strategies

This is the third part of the Justice Clearinghouse webinar series on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) and Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT). The first session zeroes in on SOCMINT and its challenges, tools, benefits, and considerations. Meanwhile, the second part highlighted OSINT, its uses, value, tools, and techniques. This installment focuses on the process and guidelines involved in OSINT and SOCMINT analysis.

This webinar’s instructor is Valarie Findlay, a cybersecurity and cybercrime expert affiliated with several North American cyber and law enforcement committees. She’s worked in the federal government security and intelligence field and as an entrepreneur for her risk intelligence software, TIGIR.

Specifics of her discussion include:

  • A recap of the critical points from the first and second sessions on…
    • How the internet is being utilized by average people, criminal entities, and investigative agencies.
    • The origins of OSINT from printed documents and records to digitized ones, the different data sources that can be mined, and the layers of the internet where data analyzed may come from.
    • What encompasses SOCMINT, how OSINT and SOCMINT are leveraged in investigations, examples of analysis conducted, and the challenges involved in this area of investigations.
  • Critical aspects in an OSINT project – the approach, the legal and privacy considerations, and the project approach that delineates its scope, limit, and process.
  • Key planning deliverables that must be accomplished to maintain the scope and focus of the project as well as allocate resources to get to the desired output.
  • New OSINT and SOCMINT tools that were not included in the previous sessions.
  • The process of geolocating with photos – how it is done, the search engines used, and tools to refine search parameters.
  • A detailed walk-through of how geolocating using photos is done demonstrating:
    • Creating a visual inventory to record unique elements that may provide context to an image.
    • Different search engines to use that provide different results and insights based on an image.
    • Tools to manipulate images to isolate specific objects and refine search engine results.
  • Guidelines when conducting geolocation through photos that highlight the importance of starting with concrete data and a visual inventory, flexibility and creativity in the process, and using different search engines to ensure comprehensive results.
  • A glimpse into OSINT/SOCMINT preservation – its importance in the investigation process and the tools used.
  • Key pointers and reminders when utilizing OSINT and SOCMINT in investigations.

Points clarified during the Q&A are about:

  • Using anonymizers when doing image searches.
  • Possibility of burning images or someone reverse engineering images used in online image manipulation tools.
  • The value in and reason behind using multiple search engines.
  • Tools that can improve image resolution.
  • Using VPN when conducting OSINT.
  • Features of the Instagram Location Finder.


Other Webinars with this Speaker:


Click here to view and register for other upcoming IALEIA webinars on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “I like that the presenter shared her screen and walked us through examples of investigations.” — Angela
  • “Very informative, demonstration of tools used, tips and tricks, etc.” — Iris
  • “I was not aware of the OSINT image searching tools, very valuable info!” — Jessica
  • “The case studies were very helpful and helped put this and the previous sections into context.” — Baillee
  • “Great information.” — Robert
  • “The step by step – knowledge leading tool and going through the thought process to maintain chain of evidence.” — Amanda
  • “A very good guideline for newcomers in the intel community. I will need to test all the provided tools myself but I have seen great opportunities during the presentation already. Thank you very much for sharing.” — Andre
  • “The data sources! The training was phenomenal (as always) and very well organized and presented. Ms. Findlay is an excellent presenter and teacher.” — Janie
  • “Great Stuff! Most was not new to me, but I always look forward to picking up new information. The reserve image searches section was invaluable!” — Lesli
  • “Amazing presentation and outstanding information, it was very clear and concise. Valarie is AWESOME!” — Stephanie
  • “How to organize my online searches to maximize time.” — Stephen



The International Association of Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA) is the largest professional organization in the world representing law enforcement analysts.  We represent law enforcement analysts in a variety of venues and provide an environment of community by establishing regional chapters. The purpose of IALEIA is to advance high standards of professionalism in law enforcement intelligence analysis at the local, state/provincial, national, and international levels.  Our aim is to enhance understanding of the role of intelligence analysis, encourage the recognition of intelligence analysis as a professional endeavor, develop international qualification and competency standards, reinforce professional concepts, devise training standards and curricula, furnish advisory and related services on intelligence analysis matters, conduct analytic-related research studies, and provide the ability to disseminate information regarding analytical techniques and methods.   IALEIA has a certification program for analysts, a code of ethics, and bylaws that provide structure for the organization.



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