Conducting Online Investigations Using Deep Web Resources

An investigative analyst can find information that is hidden from traditional search engines. Analysts can search the “invisible web”, or deep web sources, including public records and social networks. By combining and re-combining information from these searches, they can uncover information and connections that are otherwise difficult to find. In fact, conducting a search on a traditional search engine, such as Google, only covers one percent of what’s available on the Internet. Experts suggest that Internet research be done by an investigative analyst, and not by a traditional investigator who may not have the in-depth web knowledge to find all the relevant information. Some of the most effective uses of online investigations are: loss prevention, locating goods in Craigslist or intellectual property on Myspace and criminal activity, including tracing cell phones, PO boxes and e-mail addresses. Using advanced tools, investigative analysts review and extract the information they need, but they can only do what’s legally permissible. Luckily for them, most people tend to leave their profiles wide open.

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