Chenega’s Open Source Evidential Exploitation (OSEEC) pilot course took place on the 8th, 9th and 10th August 2016 at Ulster University’s Belfast campus in Northern Ireland. The course was taught by Jess Matchett (Senior Research Analyst at Chenega and Associate Lecturer at Ulster University), John Roberts (Consultant at Chenega and Associate Lecturer at Ulster University), and Christie Campagna (Consultant at Chenega). With distance e-learning assistance provided by Al Burroughs (Principal Analyst/Software Accounts Manager at Chenega).

Ulster University academic staff members from within the School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy were in attendance, alongside two students from Queens University Belfast – one completing a BA in Computer Science, the other a US Citizen undertaking PhD research examining paramilitary violence and radicalisation. As well as a financial investigator from PSNI (Police Service Northern Ireland). The curriculum covered open source investigative techniques and research methodologies, such as image and network analysis. Candidates were trained in social media intelligence gathering utilising social media monitoring software (WeLink).

WeLink was widely applauded and impressed all those in attendance. Candidates also completed a detailed case study through profiling an individual using WeLink software. One candidate in particular, was able to establish the network of a drug trafficking gang in Houston, Texas. Feedback of the course has been predominantly positive from both Ulster University and candidates in attendance. Interest in the next course scheduled to run is high.