PROPHETS – Preventing radicalisation online through the proliferation of harmonised toolkits
The globalisation of mass communication and the permeation of the internet into almost all aspects of society has further enabled serious societal threats to exploit and target European citizens, businesses and, through the emergence of online terrorism, democratic ideals. Concerned with these existing and emerging challenges, PROPHETS seeks to analyse, assess and fight these myriad of emerging threats through addressing the very factors that underlie their cause in addition to the numerous and far research Problems that they create as well as empowering LEAs with an online platform to identify and highlight these causes at root.
PROPHETS recognises that there is a blurring of the lines between aspects of terrorism, organised crime and contemporary cybercrime, driven in part by legal and political need to be seen to be combatting such crimes. Increasingly, cyberspace is used as a vector through which to illegally fund, recruit, train, and incite individuals against European social and democratic ideals, and, it is important to note, these phenomena extend far beyond Jihadist terrorism, but also into the violent extremism of the Far Right and Far Left at both the EU and international level. Recent events, such as the Charlottesville, Virginia incident of domestic terrorism, have highlighted the need for further research into improving our understanding, and the development of tools to combat the process of online behavioural radicalisation.
Extensive Analysis and Synthesis of Behavioural Radicalisation
This outcome will identify the intelligence and expertise required for the ‘intelligence-led police approach’ to cybercrime and create publishable materials to enhance knowledge sharing of different aspects of behavioural analysis, criminal trends, and cybercriminal vulnerabilities and threats between LEAs and practitioners.
Open Source Behavioural Investigation and Analysis Platform
The development of advanced open-source tools to form a larger PROPHETS platform will facilitate joint exercises and investigations between LEAs and security focused stakeholders to analyse cases from a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary perspective.
Best Practice Roadmap and Policy Training Toolkit
By identifying best practices and encapsulating them in policies, PROPHETS will aim to reduce the “chain effects” during critical and major cyber events by adapting and improving the knowledge of LEAs, intelligence agencies and the judiciary to the challenges posed by the new virtual criminal ecosystem based upon public-private governance.
Awareness Raising activities
PROPHETS will proactively raise stakeholders and citizen’s awareness of the risks and implications connected to public perceptions of cyber threats and vulnerabilities. The policy toolkit will also address the research-policy nexus, on how to better exploit results of innovation through vertical and horizontal practitioners focusing on policy-enabling bodies (EU institutions, COSI, SCIFA, Working Parties, security and judiciary networks like RAN, EJN, etc.)
PROPHETS will deliver the strategic outcomes through seven critical objectives that will encompass extensive research exploring the key factors that underpin cybercriminal and online terrorist behaviour. In particular, PROPHETS focuses on the psychological processes that transform vulnerable or influential internet users into participating or enabling cybercrime and cyberterrorism. PROPHETS is working to develop and create real-world Impact and will look to realise each of the following seven objectives through the research-to-reality paradigm that will deliver clear impacts and societal benefits specific to each objective.
- Objective 1: Online Awareness, Capacity and Resilience Building
- Objective 2: Understanding Online Material
- Objective 3: Identifying Underlying Psychological Traits
- Objective 4: Recognising Ethical, Moral and Legal Concerns
- Objective 5: Exploring Cybercrime as a Service
- Objective 6: Policy Shaping, Training and Public Engagement
- Objective 7: Tools to Enhance Capabilities and Counter Radical Behaviours