Social Media Covert Investigations
Course Category: Investigations


Content Provider:
Metro Vancouver Transit Police


2 hours

Registration Process Register

The use of social media in police investigations is an evolving field that presents both opportunities and challenges for law enforcement across Canada. While social media channels are powerful vehicles for relationships, networking, and personal and professional marketing, they are also heavily exploited by those involved in illicit activity, cyber bullying, corporate espionage, and violent criminal acts. For police, information acquired from social media, and corroborated by other reliable sources, may provide new leads in the intelligence or investigative process and add persuasiveness to reports for court. The covert use of social media may also be considered a technique to escalate justification for other authorized intrusive measures.

While many police agencies may have differing views on procedures concerning covert online activity, the Social Media: Covert Investigations course is designed to provide general benchmarks to increase its investigative value. It will enhance learners’ understanding of the investigative triangle of authority, articulation, and actions.

Learning Objectives

When you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Recall the investigative approach of the Covert Use of Social Media Triangle
  • Explain the importance of understanding your lawful authority in the covert use of social media as an investigative tool
  • Recall the tactical and strategic implications of operating a covert social media account
  • Explain the naming conventions that dictate the levels of interaction one may have while operating a covert social media account
  • Recall what is required to create the basics of an online fictitious social media account for the purpose of intelligence gathering exercises and/or criminal investigations
  • Explain the importance of acquiring online friendships
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of acquiring online friendships with those from differing socio-economic or cultural backgrounds
  • Recall methods than can be used to challenge privacy complaints privacy complaints about acquiring online friendships during the course of a covert intelligence gathering exercise or investigation
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the lesser known tools and advice used when conducting intelligence gathering and/or an investigation involving the use of social media
  • Demonstrate an understanding of formatting your acquired information in a manner suitable for intelligence products and for the court process
  • Recall the implications of complaints arising from your information discovery
  • Recall the ramifications for your covert account once it has been discovered the use of social media

Target Audience

Sworn Police, Police Civilian, Public Safety Officer, Peace Officer / Special Constable, Other Federal, Provincial and Municipal Employees