To combat crimes including online fraud, child sexual abuse and human trafficking, Web-IQ and Paliscope have collaborated to create an unmatched platform for digital investigations.

Open-Source Intelligence company Web-IQ from the Netherlands and digital investigation company Paliscope from Sweden are excited to announce their collaboration in providing an unprecedented software-based investigative platform combining decades of experience and data sources.

Over the years, Web-IQ and Paliscope have developed different products but have been united by a common cause: to make the internet a safer place and particularly to tackle the escalating problem of online child sexual abuse.

Paliscope's product, Discovry, gathers data from multiple sources - online, offline and from 3rd party services - in a single workspace. Making it easy to document the evidence in a secure and traceable manner while maintaining the chain of custody. Paliscope and Web-IQ will be continuing and intensifying their partnership to provide a service which is unmatched when it comes to accessibility and excellence.

During 2020 Web-IQ's DarkCloud has been made accessible in Discovry. From 2021 onwards Web-IQ will also be integrating their IRIS platform which will automate online investigations. This is done by combining the investigator's own database with digital evidence from the web, the darknet and social media. By combining their resources into one single platform, Web-IQ and Paliscope will be revolutionising investigations for law enforcement agencies and beyond.

Crucially, this solution will be affordable for investigators globally - not just for the agencies with deep pockets.

According to Paliscope CEO and co-founder Christian Berg, "investigators have more data and information than before but to convert that into knowledge requires artificial intelligence and computer science. That is what we are trying to achieve together: one easy-to-use platform for all your data sources."

CEO and founder of Web-IQ, Eldert van Wijngaarden, adds that "Discovry is not just easy but also actionable. The old approach of going through everything, taking notes and analysing doesn't work because the number of incidents continues to rise and the amount of data available is ever increasing. This is why we need to find ways to aggregate and automate."

As the on- and offline worlds become more intertwined it is important for investigators and organisations to incorporate digital evidence. But this isn't easy. The internet continues to evolve on a daily basis and criminals evolve with it. It is essential to use tools which identify new perpetrators and online communities as they emerge.

This proliferation of online fraud and abuse as well as the extensive training needed to analyse digital evidence leaves investigators with less time and limited resources. The Paliscope platform is the solution to both of these problems, finding evidence from open-source intelligence, the darknet and seized data.

Web-IQ and Paliscope

Eldert and Christian's determination to address the developing problem of online abuse, fraud and criminality has made this universally accessible solution possible. Web-IQ came into existence because Eldert and his co-founder Mathijs Homminga came across child sexual abuse images while analysing photo galleries for their previous company. They immediately called the police but also asked themselves: If these photos were so easy to find, could they be using their tools and knowledge to help identify the perpetrators of this abuse?

Web-IQ has since developed solutions used for identifying online intelligence sources to combat child sexual abuse, human trafficking, fraud and other high-impact crimes. Alongside IRIS, SafeCity harvests data exclusively for municipal and regional governments, DarkCloud scans the darknet and crime-related message boards and Voyager analyses online datasets. Founded in 2011, Web-IQ's software is now used in 31 countries across 5 different continents.

Despite developing these solutions, Eldert continued to identify new opportunities to improve. In 2015, he spoke at a conference for the Virtual Global Taskforce in Abu Dhabi, where he met Christian. When he found out about Paliscope - which focuses on partnership as a way of integrating cutting-edge tools into one platform - he knew they needed to work together.

Eldert explains that "everything that was difficult before with online investigations, Paliscope has made easy by connecting the essential data."

"Nobody has done this before," Christian adds. "We are automating what can be automated by aggregating as many data sources as possible so we can let the investigator do what they're best at."

Alex Howlett, London Dec 22nd 2020