The Turnbull government will hand federal law enforcement agencies an extra $2.6 million to introduce new big data and intelligence-sharing technologies to improve their crime-fighting abilities.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan today said the Australian Federal Police will receive $1.6 million for new tools to help it mine information from social media accounts and news reports.
An additional $1 million will go to the Australian Crime Commission for a real-time communications platform surveillance teams will use in the field during investigations.
The AFP went to market in late 2014 for a provider to help it track publicly available information on protest activity and potentially violent political groups. At the time it said the volume of information available online had swamped its in-house resources.
Keenan claimed the new big data capabilities would help the AFP gain additional insights from the geolocation of suspects, as well as unintentionally leaked plans or photos.
The ACC’s new tools would improve collaboration between agencies during physical surveillance operations, Keenan said.
The funding comes out of the federal proceeds of crime account.
“Big data is already being used by the FBI, and is vital in today’s threat environment – where terrorists exploit the online environment to radicalise individuals, direct attacks and detail movements,” Keenan said in a statement.
“The national security challenges Australia faces are evolving and so we must keep our legislation and capabilities under constant review to meet emerging challenges.”