CBI Recommends Social Media Tracking & Lawful Intercept To Solve Crimes

CBI plans new strategy of tracking Facebook, Twitter for solving crime cases.

CBI social media

CBI social media

Globally keeping a track of social media has become mandatory for investigating agencies. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wants to implement the same strategy, reports PTI. The CBI has recommended that, “Investigating agencies should exploit social networking sites for their “overt, discreet and covert” probe by digging out profile photos, status messages and following the users.”

The recommendation laid down by CBI involves round the clock monitoring mechanisms at the federal and state level, bringing out a policy for using social media for outreach, developing protocols for use of social networks for collection of information and intelligence from public and building capacities to “patrol and monitor” social media.

Besides CBI refers to take the social networking sites such as Google, Facebook, among others in confidence while they are working under certain cases which would require their help. However, government bodies haven’t been that happy with the co-operation that has been offered by social media companies.

These recommendations from CBI are the build up on the social media framework and guidelines for government organisations that it had presented during the DGP and IGPs conference in November last year. During the conference held in the capital, CBI had recommended a three pronged approach for the social media world - overt, discrete and covert.

Providing further details, CBI shared that overt is like the uniformed patrol on the street in which online searches on Google, Facebook and YouTube would be performed on probing agencies. Discrete is like detectives or plain clothed officers searching and retaining of public access photographs and profile status and covert is like undercover probe that would involve following and lawful intercepts.

Wonder if the CBI is planning to work with a social media monitoring product or customize one to meet its need as last year we had seen the Delhi Police in talks with vendors for developing a social media tracking system. The Mumbai Police has been the forerunner in this space as it had been debating for such a system since early 2013 and by March it inaugurated its “Social Media Lab” (SML), with the aim to keep tabs on the sentiments and activities happening on social media. Later it was also revealed that the Mumbai Police is going to use the tool provided by SocialAppsHQ for its SML.

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