Marketed as a multiplatform analytical tool to evaluate speech and facial patterns in order to create visual mapping for authorities and identity suspects, ROXANNE is a new breed of surveillance technology in the process of development and currently being backed by both An Garda Síochána and the PSNI to bring into use. 

An acronym for Real time netwOrk, teXt, and speaker ANalytics for combating orgaNized crimE, it was announced in November the Republic’s involvement in the project currently being developed in Switzerland.

A biometrics based platform ostensibly to monitor and crack down on organised crime, an additional application of ROXANNE which its creators advertise freely is the ability to monitor those guilty of alleged hate speech and political extremism. 

A product of the EU funded Horizon 2020 to foster new surveillance technology, ROXANNE works across social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube as well as normal telecommunications platforms to identify, categorise, and track faces and voices enabling authorities to paint a more in depth picture of the network being investigated, whether it be in relation to criminal activity or those deemed politically extreme.

Enabling authorities to draw on raw data from a variety of sources and platforms in order to recognise common speech patterns, facial features, and geolocation, the end result is both to identify suspects and paint an intricate picture of the networks being put under the microscope.

Overview of the functionality of ROXANNE to harvest and utilise data from calls, video and social media 

Developed at the Swiss Idiap Research Institute, ROXANNE is a transnational collaboration effort between European and Israeli policing agencies as well as some private sector entities. Funded to the tune of €7 million, both An Garda Síochána and the PSNI have contributed €100,000 and €128,000 respectively to the development of the technology expected to come to completion by August 2022. 

Irish participation in the project was confirmed by Minister McEntee under questioning in the Oireachtas from Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy. In a subsequent statement outlining the state’s involvement with the project, An Garda Síochána released the following statement to the Belfast Telegraph.

“It is important (we) partake in EU projects that strengthen and enhance the capabilities and capacity of Ireland’s national police and security service to combat international and transnational serious and organised crime, in addition to combating threats against the security of the state

Irish involvement on both sides of the border with ROXANNE received disapproval from left wing TD Richard Boyd Barrett, questioning the inclusion of the Israeli Ministry of Public Security due to their record on human rights. One of the ten law enforcement agencies contributing to ROXANNE, the Israeli government is contributing €138,000.

In September of last year, the first field test of ROXANNE was conducted with sample casework being provided by Czech Police pertaining to a narcotics network. A sample of phone numbers relating to an alleged drug syndicate were run through the programme which provided analysis in terms of speech recognition and location with a broader picture being created of the nexus under investigation by compiling hundreds of phone calls. The end result was to provide investigators with a better understanding of the group and to automatically highlight parts of the call transcripts that were of interest to them automatically.

While the field test was trialed solely on phone calls, ROXANNE is advertised as also being able to uncover the creators of so-called ‘hate or propaganda speech’, no matter the platform. It should be noted at this point that while the primary function of ROXANNE appears to be targeting dissident republican and drug cartels, Ireland is soon to roll out more onerous hate speech legislation shortly before ROXANNE will likely be fully operational.

Not the only EU funded Horizon 2020 project to generate controversy, PREVISION and CONNEXION are similar technologies aiming to integrate data from social media, CCTV and facial and voice recognition to assist in investigations.

Governed by a variety of statutes, the surveillance of private individuals is a rather murky world but once which gives authorities a wide berth from which to operate on both jurisdictions of the island.

This is all occurring in the context of enhanced surveillance on right wing groups across Europe, with German authorities likely to rule in favour of allowing security forces to formally put the nation’s primary opposition party the AfD under surveillance for alleged extremism this month.

Domestically officers from the Special Detective Unit (SDU) confirmed in September they had recently commenced monitoring what they described as far right groups, with state forces within the 6 counties garnering a notorious reputation for these surveillance techniques.

Signals intelligence increasingly plays a major role in law enforcement in relation to international crime syndicates, with the Kinahan cartel suffering following the hacking of their private Encrochat communications service. However, considering the scale of surveillance being rolled out, surely this is akin to striking an ant with a handgun.

Whether ROXANNE will be deployed against political targets as well as members of organised crime awaits to be seen. However, as the recent history of this state validates, surveillance can become very politicised very quickly in the confines of our security establishment. Regardless, even the potential for such a tactic to be quickly rolled out is a hint to the extent to which the general stakes of this all are about to be raised.

Posted by Ciaran Brennan

30 Comments

  1. dont worry lads. you have every intelligence service in the world watching us for the reason that mi5 /6/g2 are revealing their assets when they use them on this island. anyone who causes agents of the crime syndicate to be doxed does a great service in the global chess game.

    Reply

    1. As someone said on a tv show, government spying is a lot easier since everyone started to surveil themselves with social media. And comments.

      Reply

  2. Rod Serling 03/02/2021 at 6:56 pm

    “A Penny for Your Thoughts” is a Twilight Zone episode where for one day only a bank clerk is able to hear people’s thoughts. An employee fantasizes about robbing the bank, the whole meticulous plan. The mind reader gets the police involved at the imaginary crucial moment. But of course it was only make-believe.

    The Globalist Totalitarians will think they are reading our minds, our motives, and will act accordingly.

    Reply

  3. Roger McGregor 03/02/2021 at 7:17 pm

    At least we know that Jewish have nothing at all whatsoever to do with inventing the fabrication of “hate speech” and are not at all in any way involved with the perverse manipulation of the concept to usher in global thought policing to maintain their control over civilization like a stranglehold. At least we know that much, so we can totally dismiss that being at the root of all of this. Now if we could only identify why this was all happening.

    Reply

    1. At least we know that there is no involvement either from 0bama hillary biden brennan cameron clapper clinton comey fauci gates gore macron may merkel trudeau…

      What is the ancestry of biden, brennan, and clinton? Can someone remind me?

      Reply

      1. Maybe they were all born in central Russia or something.

        Let’s genomically test all of them and see if their background story and genome/ethnicity jibe or not.

        Reply

      2. Oh there’s a ready made answer for that. they’re crypto ((( ))), as they say.

        Reply

    2. Jesus Schwarzkopf 04/02/2021 at 12:05 am

      READ THE ARTICLE AGAIN, CAREFULLY.
      In yournrush to expressmyour hatred of Jewish people, you missed underlyng facts that demonstrate what a hate-fueled Hitler clone you are. Total funding is 7 million euros. Israeli Police funding is 2% of that amount, Adolf!!
      The vast bulk of the funding comes from the EU, Joessef!

      “A product of the EU funded Horizon 2020 to foster new surveillance technology,”

      “One of the ten law enforcement agencies contributing to ROXANNE, the Israeli government is contributing €138,000.”.
      “A product of the EU funded Horizon 2020 to foster new surveillance technology…”

      “…Developed at the Swiss Idiap Research Institute, ROXANNE is a transnational collaboration effort between European and Israeli policing agencies as well as some private sector entities.”

      “Funded to the tune of €7 million…”

      Reply

      1. Ahhhh, but you apparently are unaware of the currency exchange rate:

        1 Magic Shekel = $1,000,000,000 USD

        s/

        Reply

  4. Richard J. Thompson 03/02/2021 at 7:44 pm

    The Panopticon is becoming reality bit by bit every day.

    Reply

  5. I thought cops were supposed to find and arrest criminals rather than spend state zillion$ on experimental snooping hardware to catch the merely foul-mouthed and ill-mannered. Over-protection of the most clinically over-sensitive among us makes society more like a psych ward than the playful little park walk and battlefield it has always been. No one below dog-catcher is forcing the state to become an over-zealous police and surveillance state. The blame for that lies among the govt. bureaucrats and the politicos pandering to those suffering the hysteria that they induced (on the convenient excuse of a plandemic).

    Reply

  6. John McCain 04/02/2021 at 6:19 am

    Is telling someone, ” your asss sucks canal water” hate speech?

    Reply

  7. […] Enabling authorities to draw on raw data from a variety of sources and platforms in order to recognize common speech patterns, facial features, and geolocation, the end result is both to identify suspects and paint an intricate picture of the networks being put under the microscope. READ MORE […]

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  8. […] On the other side of the Atlantic, a joint European surveillance project known as ROXANNE is causing a great deal of concern… […]

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  22. Biden just introduced his “sensible gun control”… Looks like 1/6/21 will be the catalyst for attempting to disarm The Militia…

    Reply

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