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Advanced Online Investigations

Just as the internet has changed the world as we know it, so has it changed 21st century policing.  The internet has spawned one of the most serious and critical threats facing law enforcement today; the online criminal.  Try and think of one single crime where a criminal or criminal organization doesn’t have the ability to exploit the internet for illegal purposes.  From drug dealing to acts of terrorism, it’s just one click away and effects every law enforcement jurisdiction.

Investigating internet related crimes can be a daunting task for most agencies.  Untrained personnel, limited investigative resources, non-existent policies/procedures and a lack of in-house subject matter experts are all contributing factors leading to an organizational unconscious incompetence.  In other words, a lack of online situational awareness. 

Students will begin their journey with an understanding of the technical revolution impacting law enforcement and how to adopt inclusive social media investigative crime-fighting policies and procedures, including an introduction to social media law.  Students will learn how to safely operate online while practicing good digital officer safety.  With a solid foundation in place, Students will create their undercover identity which will be used to conduct numerous live exercises utilizing an array of social media platforms.  

This course will provide the student with the knowledge to cultivate valuable new skill sets to evolve with technological change.  Students will learn how to safely and legally conduct online criminal investigations, engage in online covert operations, and locate, track and apprehend criminals blending the past, present and future of technology. 

This course is designed for patrol officers, criminal investigators, supervisors and civilian support personnel.

Day 1

  1. The Technological Paradigm Shift
    1. Strategies to overcome barriers
    2. Understand and recognize every individual’s responsibility for change
  2. The Digital Revolution
    1. Historical overview of the digital revolution
    2. Techniques for harnessing and leveraging social media applications
  3. Social Media Law, Policy, and procedure
    1. Overview of social media guidelines and laws
    2. Social media and online investigative policies
  4. The World-Wide Cesspool
    1. Introduction to numerous online websites where criminal activity occurs
    2. Accelerated introduction to the constantly evolving dynamics of online criminal investigations

Day 2

  1. Launching Covert Online Investigations
    1. Importance of conducting covert online investigations
    2. Proper documentation, evidence gathering techniques, and court preparation
  2. Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)
    1. Free online resources and tools to enhance investigative techniques
  3. Tracking the Digital Footprint
    1. Locating evidence of criminal activity through email headers, IP tracing, and metadata extraction. 
  4. Anonymizing Strategies and Infrastructure Sterilization
    1. Best practices to remain anonymous while conducting online covert operations.