Information Processing and Management (IP&M) is the ability to process data and heterogeneous information coming from many different sources to obtain knowledge and make it available to all the authorised users (based on user clearances and the “need to know” principle). Thus TA5 themes are expressed in:
- Techniques for processing heterogeneous data;
- Techniques for secure dissemination of information;
- Interoperable platforms for access, exchange and distribution of information.
However IP&M does not address all the technologies required to support the whole process; to avoid overlapping with other TA’s some technologies are not addressed although they are relevant also for gathering intelligence, namely sensors technologies, including low-level signal processing, such as those required for remote sensing (e.g. unattended, self-organising sensor networks) and communication technologies.
For its nature IP&M capabilities are required for any security missions but nevertheless for some of them it has a particular relevance, namely:
- Protection against terrorism and organised crime (security of citizens)
- Border security, with specific focus on the fighting of:
- Illegal immigration, people smuggling and trafficking;
- Trafficking of drugs, weapons and illicit substances.
IP&M appears to be relevant, although not as important, for Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Restoring security in case of crisis.
More in detail, for the above mentioned missions and depending on the application scenarios the capabilities supported by IP&M technologies include:
- Acquisition of information from many different sources, including:
• Collection and extraction from interactive real time multi-sensors systems and open or restricted sources;
• Data and text mining, querying of unstructured database repositories for extracting relevant information;
• Natural Language Processing technologies Speech Processing technology, Automated Language Translation;
• Semantic Technologies for the description, classification, search and retrieval of relevant information.
- Integration and processing of all the available information and knowledge for automated production of intelligence, including:
– Data and information fusion:
• Automatic content analysis;
• Handling of cultural, linguistic and behavioural aspects affecting the appreciation of data;
• Finding patterns and correlations to indicate specific hazards;
• Correlation of real-time information with historic data and profiles;
• Building and updating “profiles”.
– Acquisition and analysis of information to track and trace criminal actions in information networks, supporting digital forensic capabilities.
- Distribution of information to authorised users and sharing of information and knowledge among cooperating organisations, including:
– Secure sharing and exchange of information to support security and privacy:
• Data protection capability, techniques of encryption;
• Security of information systems, cyber security, anti-hackering;
• Robust access control and authentication models;
• Cyber security policy management tools.
– Interoperability in data exchange among different organisations (people and systems):
• Definition of common standardised data formats;
• Availability of gateways and/or translator units – to convert formats and protocols, as a short-term solution for interoperability.