The son of wanted drug lord ‘El Chapo’, Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, received a lot of attention when he tweeted a photo of himself and his father eating dinner on August 31st. Although the tweet gave away his possible location, law enforcement has still not found one of the most wanted criminals in the world. The chase continues with Mexican authorities along with the FBI and DEA.
I continue to be amazed at how much can be found on social media. When data is harvested, normalized, interpreted and analyzed it can prove to be very valuable. As gathering information can be labour intensive and cumbersome, tools now exist that automate most of the process. Instead of spending valuable time in the collection phase, you can now focus on analyzing the information, draw conclusions and potentially determine your next steps in the process. AFIMAC’s Social media investigations are gaining traction, as it is a good way to find information about a person of interest. This service even can detect keywords and notify you through email and/or text.
It is being used as a part of recruitment processes where a snapshot or a ‘footprint‘ is often beneficial in weeding out undesirable candidates or to gain intelligence on suspected employees involved in embezzlement, substance abuse or harassment.
In a recent example, a client was concerned about drug use in the workplace. Although it was just a rumour, nobody was able or willing to point out who the users were. The client had some suspects. They decided to monitor these employees on open source social media to see if any interesting facts would come up. Keywords they used included “high”, “dope”, “joint”, etc. After 14 days, an alert came up on the word “high”. One of the suspects was bragging on his Facebook page about the fact that he worked better being “high”. He was a forklift driver in a large warehouse. An investigation commenced and an investigator at the facility interviewed the suspect. The investigator not only was able to have the suspect confess, but he also gave names of some of the other employees getting high on regular basis. The employee was terminated. The staff was warned and had to re-sign the HR policies that specifically prohibited drug or alcohol use during work hours.