By Tarun Wig, Co-Founder, Innefu Labs
When technology reaches into the wrong hands, they misuse it to terrify the world. Nations cannot stop the flow of information, they are not that much empowered, but they are capable of following the activities of the perpetrators. Predictive Intelligence (PI) helps governments and security agencies in intercepting the plans of criminals and terrorists around the world. As per the forecast of International Data Corp, by 2020, the world would become a reservoir of 40 zettabytes of data, means 5,127 gigabytes data per individual. Based on big data analytics, mathematical models and human-led artificial intelligence, PI is the most powerful tool for security agencies to keep vigil on suspects and to save the country and its people from physical and cyber attacks.
PI is unconventional in developing countries, but in developed countries, it’s a known practice for years. Way back in 2002, John Poindexter, Retired Admiral of the US Army had developed a “Total Information Awareness” programme for the Pentagon to reveal and monitor national security threats with the help of IT and data from various online and offline sources. But, within a year, Congress withdrew its funding support from this programme due to issues related to the violation of privacy rights.
From Pattern Analysis to Crime Prevention
Today, the whole world is connected through the internet, and social media is the mouthpiece of both creators and destroyers. A majority of people use social media to share their opinion, ideas, and creativity with a large number of people while there are many who exploit it to put people and countries in socioeconomic dangers. Fuelled with the pattern analysis, PI helps law enforcement and security agencies to study the behaviour of the people. Footprints of the lawbreakers on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and e-commerce portals like Amazon and eBay help concerned departments in tracking their past and present activities, while PI enables them to anticipate their plans and intentions. After detection of any suspicious activity, finding the roots of crime becomes much easier for the security personnel.
USA – The Torch Bearer
America’s civilian foreign intelligence services department CIA is using sophisticated algorithms based on data analysis and predictive intelligence to monitor the global activities of criminals and terrorist outfits. Its research wing started ‘Mercury’, a programme to develop advanced analytical tools in PI. According to Andrew Hallman, the Deputy Director of the Digital Innovation cell of the organisation, “We have, in some instances, been able to improve our forecast to the point of being able to anticipate the development of social unrest and societal instability to within three to five days out.” CIA believes that the availability of Big Data on social media and open-source intelligence plays a very crucial role in PI because these data provides clues about the perpetrators’ planning.
India – Incredibly Adaptive
India, the world’s largest democracy is also the 7th most terrorism affected country. So, to strengthen the intelligence system is the key objective before the Government and security agencies. Fortunately, in the last few years, India witnessed record progress in this direction. Many new programmes and initiatives were introduced in the NDA regime, and of course, Crime Mapping Analytics and Predictive System (CMAPS) which is a bright outcome of the collaborative efforts of Delhi Police and ISRO - a sign of India’s progress towards PI. CMAPS functions on trend analysis, behavioural analysis of the criminal and suspected offenders, and retrieve all the crucial information from their profiles. It also has a security module that helps to analyse and predict threats targeted to VIPs. CMAPS is just an example of India’s self-sufficiency in PI enabled security; there are many public and private companies offering customised security solutions to the defence ministry, BSF, CRPF, and to other important departments of the Government of India.
A Futuristic Intelligence
A deluge of data on the internet, social media, banking information, and travel records has huge potential to assist law enforcement and security agencies of the world in developing effective PI modules to reduce the number of crimes in both physical and virtual spheres. Experts believe that the clues PI generates vary in accuracy, but there are many proven incidence when intelligence agencies rely on PI and they have successfully thwart away those possible attacks. For developed countries like the USA, PI is one of the smartest weapons today to prevent man-made calamities, and on the line of the developed countries, India too is using it very strategically to strengthen its security.