Ref. Ares(2014)136663 - 22/01/2014
Joint Research Centre - Ispra Site
Mission No:DF-13-865410 (
Object of the mission
05.12.2013: Workshop EU Institutional Users of EMM Applications (
06.12.2013: Meeting with DG HOME to review outgoing OSINT related AA and discuss collaboration
going forward (6.12.2013 -
Place, date, organizations visited and contacted persons (Please continue on a separate sheet, if necessary)
DG Home, Rue du Luxembourg,
, DG Home
Brussels. 5.12.2013, 6.12.2013
, DG Home
Of the establishment
Other services of the
ECDC, Europol, EU
Cert, DG HOME
[adresse e-mail] (*), JRC
GlobeSec Unit, JRC [adresse e-mail]
For sensitive mission reports, distribution must only be
only to persons indicated by (*) and relevant staff
members of the GlobeSec Unit
Main Results of the mission: (Please attach as many separate sheets as necessary)
Mission Background and Scope
As part of our collaboration with DG HOME we co-organised a workshop on the use of EMM
applications. The participants and presenters were EU institutional users of EMM active in the area pf
security. The workshop took place in the secure premises of DG HOME in Brussels.
The second part of the mission was to discuss with DG HOME the outgoing AA “Open Sources
Capacity Support” and discuss further collaboration in the field of Open Source Intelligence. The
second part of the mission was performed by
Workshop EU Institutional Users of EMM
The workshop contained a number of presentations by the JRC as well as the institutional users of
EMM. In the annex of this mission report we include the workshop minutes with the following content:
Annex I: Workshop Minutes with summaries of the different presentations and the
conclusions and further actions.
Annex II: Detailed participant list
Annex III: List of EMM products in the area of security
Review AA “Open Sources Capacity Support” and future
collaboration in the field of OSINT
gave an overview of the activities performed for the finished AA “Open Sources
highlighted the increasing number of participants taking part in the series of
workshops the JRC has organised in collaboration with DG HOME. The AA also funded the
development of the EMM OSINT Suite which is gaining momentum with law enforcement authorities
in Europe. Currently, there are around 30 organisations which have a license for the software.
We discussed how a future collaboration could take shape. DG HOME wants to fund further OSINT
related workshops but has not yet decided whether the software development will be supported. The
reason is that a sizeable number of licensees are from the customs field which is outside the political
mandate of DG HOME. In addition there are also budget constraints going forward. I explained that we
are – after having developed a tool with solid base functionality- currently working on a number of
advanced functions providing greater convergence between the EMM server applications and the EMM
OSINT Suite as a frontline analyst’s tool kit.
We agreed to conduct an evaluation beginning next year with the participants of the workshops and of
the software how the EU should continue most effectively the work in this field. Furthermore, DG
HOME wants to have a detailed financial outline of the cost of a workshop.
Develop an evaluation form with DG HOME to assess the effectiveness of the past AA
Send out the evaluation to the OSINT community
Outline the cost of an OSINT Workshop
Write up a technical annex for a future AA with DG HOME
Minutes of Workshop “EU Institutional Users of EMM
(European Media Monitor) Applications”
5 December 2013, DG HOME Secure Briefing Room
The workshop, jointly organised by DG HOME and DG JRC, brought together EU Institutional users
of the European Media Monitor Applications active in the area of security.
The main aims of the workshop were to:
Establish synergies in the definition of categories of interest
Share best practises on the dissemination of information
Share users’ needs with a view to guide the further development of EMM
The workshop was organised into a series of presentations from users of the EMM applications,
showing how EU institutions used the software, their needs and context, coupled with open discussion
on ways to collaborate. The presentations are attached.
The workshop was opened by
), JRC and
outlined the objectives of the workshop and suggested that further workshops might be organised
if this one were successful.
outlined the use of EMM in DG HOME:
Risk analysis for policy development – EMM is used to support analyses provided by DG
HOME to other services, with ad hoc categories used to provide timely, relevant information;
Situational awareness for Crisis room;
Weekly terrorist media report.
EMM is currently used mostly for the DG HOME A1 unit, with a plan to act as a service provider to
most of the DG.
EMM Status Update
) gave a brief update on recent developments and current work in progress for
the EMM system.
Twitter – EMM is currently searching around 200 000 tweets per day for category keywords,
and extracting media urls from the relevant tweets to gain access to further information
sources before they appear in traditional media;
Facebook – work ongoing to allow EMM to scrape public posts on Facebook;
YouTube – work is ongoing to use the rich textual metadata associated with videos posted to
YouTube (NB no actual video analysis or text to speech is done).
Blogs – a blogs-only version of EMM was tried but was not much used and the current
approach is to treat blogs as a standard feed; there is no blog discovery, the user has to identify
and introduce blogs of interest.
Ongoing development work is aiming to:
Simplify the addition of sources, both by providing a GUI front end to the sources definition
file and also by removing the need to write xslt files for each source;
Provide mobile apps – the iPhone version is in test and should be released in the new year; a
Windows 8 version (EEAS interest) would require specific development which is not
Open discussion session
How to do radio monitoring?
One successful approach is to use BBC Monitoring, a commercial service covering Asia, the Middle
East and Africa which monitors and transcribes into English around 1000 sources. This has been
integrated as a feed into EMM at the African Union and Council. Could EMM results be used to discover new, relevant sources through internet search engines?
This relates to EMM work on Twitter where links from categorised tweets are used to discover new
Twitter feeds, and it would be interesting to look at doing it for regular sources. What is the current state and availability of EMM language translation?
EMM currently translates 9 languages into English using an in-house approach and can use a
commercial service for Arabic and Chinese translation. The quality of the results varies with the
language, but it is good enough to get the sense of the news. The translation software is available, but
further hardware is necessary (roughly one extra server for every 3 languages). Why have many EMM installations, why not work together on one?
Much of the added value comes from the ability to add custom categories, sources of interest and the
need by some users to monitor specific sites anonymously.
The main part of the workshop was the following series of presentations from users of EMM.
DG HOME Affairs – STAR – Customised Categories
presented the use of EMM within DG HOME A1. The system has
been customised through the introduction of specific sources, including fora and video channels for
which RSS feeds are available, and through the creation of categories such as Terrorism Mali, CBRNE
and Foreign Fighters. The added value for DG HOME is the ability to create ad hoc categories, the use
of the newsletter as an input for analysts and the use of the open sources pre-analysis to support the
duty officers’ weekly reports.
ECDC – “Epidemic Intelligence at the ECDC”
presented the use of EMM at ECDC, where it is one of the media monitoring
solutions in use. A daily report from NewsDesk is used in a daily threat assessment meeting. For over
50% of disease outbreaks the first reports come from non-official sources such as MediSys. For
example, MediSys beat EWRS for the outbreak of Dengue in Madeira in 2012.
Europol – “Use of OS information and media monitoring at Europol – tools
described how EMM fits into the Europol OSInt and media monitoring strategy. The
Europol categories provide a good example of collaboration, being based on categories originally
defined by Frontex and by CERT-EU. A daily newsletter is sent to all staff at the agency, with positive
feedback, and may be sent to a wider audience of police services from the MS. Main challenges are the
small 2 person team responsible for OS information and media monitoring.
CERT-EU - “Use of EMM in CERT-EU”
presented the use of EMM in CERT-EU: a public customised EMM installation has
been available since September 2011 and a private customised one since January 2012. Both sites serve
as a basis for cooperation between CERT-EU and the CERTs in the MSs who regularly contribute new
sources and help to improve categories and keywords. The private site attracts about 1900 visitors per
expressed needs such as the ability to add new sources in EMM more easily and to
monitor specific sites anonymously.
Collaboration on categories
raised a number of points to consider for future collaboration on categories:
Each category needs to have an owner, with domain knowledge and able to maintain the
category over time;
A collaboration mechanism should be established so that others can benefit from and
contribute to the category definitions;
Should users accept category updates automatically, or do they need to review changes?
Do users share the same needs for confidentiality for their category definitions?
Conclusions and Actions
The main conclusions and actions of the workshop were:
There is a common interest to explore synergies especially on categories through the
organisation of workshops at suitable intervals. The next workshop could be organised at
It was agreed to explore the idea of a common repository through a dedicated technical
meeting in 2014.
It would be useful to know the currently available products from EMM, as examples of best
practice and to identify commonalities and areas for collaboration;
The JRC shall provide regular updates on EMM developments, work in progress and what is
in the pipeline through a newsletter it shall send out 3 times per year.
DG HOME and JRC shall include in an annex to the minutes of the workshop a list of
newsletters and reports produced by EMM EU institutional users.
List of Attendees
List of EMM products in the area of Security
Weekly summary of media coverage of
terrorism sent to the unit and added to the
DO’s weekly report.
Top stories 24 hours
Current top stories used to quickly assess
Daily summary of key news sent to all staff