BIGOSINT – Trafficking in Human Beings

What is the project about?

Countering Trafficking in Human Beings through Big Data and OSINT Analysis

BIGOSINT will develop and pilot advanced, intelligence-led tools to enhance investigations into trafficking in human beings (THB), directly targeting the diverse roles that the internet plays in THB. As an extension of the ISFP project UNCHAINED, BIGOSINT will expand the counter-THB tools with technologies to:
1) enhance LEA access to, and monitoring of, open and closed environments online,
2) boost investigations into and understanding of cryptocurrency transactions.
The tools will be integrated into a FAST platform, developed in UNCHAINED and adapted for the specific purposes of the BIGOSINT project, allowing smooth and secure data-sharing among LEAs and, using a different access-level model, between them and private entities involved in counter-THB operations. The BIGOSINT investigative techniques will be piloted for a 20 week period, supported by innovative LEA training on implementation of the tools, the dynamics of internet-facilitated THB, and models for cross-border and inter-agency cooperation. National inter-agency teams will be established in 3 Member States and a ‘Communication Toolkit’ will be deployed to support the protection of potential victims, and vulnerable groups in particular.

This project is funded by the European Union.
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In the BIGOSINT project the IPoS, together with the partners, identifies and evaluates the technological and non-technological tools that are available. The consortium wants to deepen the understanding of investagtions on the THB cycle in the caber environment. There will be a case study analysis, a database & procedural mapping as well as a technological roadmap design. Further more the IPoS conducts a deep-web analysis via Tor and Onion servers and will also with the partners integrate open-source data solutions and the existing FAST platform for domestic and international counter-THB operations. The consortium will create a THB handbook in which the content will outline software and procedural outcomes. On this basis the IPoS and partners will deliver sustained service trainings for the target audience. In this trainings interagency teams will be established and trained with live prototype sessions and live stress testing of the FAST platform under real world conditions. For this purpose the IPoS will define pilot testing methodologies and training content as well as virtual reality (VR) environments and scenarios and material packages.

  1. Assess the state of the art in counter-online THB instruments, including both technical and technological tools. The BIGOSINT  project will illicit how the internet may represent a risk for the most vulnerable targets of people traffickers, how they simultaneously provide opportunities for investigative frameworks, thus improving knowledge (1.1) on detection of cyber-enabled trafficking in THB and its victims; and (1.2) emerging disruptive technologies in counter-THB operations & international/public and private intelligence exchange. An exploration of different technologies, DBs and data used by LEAs in EU and third countries will hp to identify gaps in the availability of tools, challenges to their implementation, and cross-border disparities between them.
  2. Enhance relevant LEAs access to, and monitoring of, open and closed environments online, allowing them to detect, identify & classify content, users, and victims in an efficient and coordinated way. This will be achieved through the development of advanced digital forensics tools, their embedding into a comprehensive strategy, concretised in a LEAs Handbook and immersive VR-based skills & knowledge training. Data outputs from these will be integrated into the FAST platform to allow analysis and visualisation and exchange of the int reports between different agencies.
  3. Interrupt the financial flow supporting online THB. BIGOSINT will advance relevant LEA practitioners’ understanding of the online transactional patterns and specifics of the most commonly used cryptowallets, mixing services and develop forensic techniques for gathering and untumbling blockchain data, tracing this back to its users. Data retrieved will be integrated into the FAST platform to establish investigative profiles and correlations.
  4. Strengthen cross-border and inter-agency cooperation through a heightened lev of secure, granular intelligence exchange based on the integration of gathered data and data correlation through a single integrated FAST platform (developed in the EU-funded project UNCHAINED and expanded through BIGOSINT) and mods for inter-agency exchange. Coordinated operation action will further be enhanced by a greater standardisation of investigative techniques and a more harmonised understanding of the phenomenon of online THB. Through the virtual reality-based training, practitioners can test and practice their ability to implement the techniques developed within the BIGOSINT platform interactively, simulating cross-border investigations via the multiplayer platform that allows trainees to operative collaboratively and simultaneously from different geographical locations.
  5. Test new Tools, protocols and joint investigative approaches to counter online THB: Through WP4 National Interagency Teams in Italy, Spain and Germany will test new tools, investigative protocols and practices in transnational cyber investigations for a period of 20 weeks. The exercises will involve public and private agencies, LEAs and judiciary, under TNJudPol authorisation.
  6. Reduce the vulnerability of specific groups, such as children and women14, through the production of a ‘Communication Toolkit’ aimed at a gender-and-minor-specific approach in the prevention of online hunting and fishing techniques of the traffickers and how to prevent risks through public-private cooperation. The Communication Toolkit will address Ministries and Regional Governments and has the final aim of leveraging on repetition effects and new pooling resources for future sustainability actions. The OSINT component of the FAST platform will contribute to gender-and-minor-based targeted actions and campaigns.
  • LEAs
  • Judiciary
  • EC
  • EU Agencies
  • Prosecutor offices
  • EPPO
  • Forensic and Int experts
  • Minstries on Education
  • Labour Inspectors
  • Juvenile courts
  • NGOs
  1. Assess the state of the art in counter-online THB instruments

  2. Enhance relevant LEAs access to, and monitoring of, open and closed environments online

  3. Interrupt the financial flow supporting online THB

  4. Strengthen cross-border and inter-agency cooperation

  5. Test new Tools, protocols and joint investigative approaches to counter online THB

  6. Reduce the vulnerability of specific groups

  • Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale Ordinario di Trento (Italy) – Coordinator
  • Fondazione agenfor international (Italy)
  • Hochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung – HFÖV (Germany)
  • Fundacion Euroarab de alto estudios (Spain)
  • CIRD e.V.
  • Cobwebs
  • Falkor
  • MBS engineering


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