March 26, 2014
OSINT Tips: Intelligence opportunities in translation sites
In a series of tips about how to use open source intelligence for crime investigations, Neil Smith deciphers the benefits of translation and telephone sites for research purposes
Going alphabetically from the favorites page of our website at www.uk-osint.net it is T for telephone and translation sites.
There are a number of useful telephone based sites but the one I use most is www.infobel.com. This provides the white (residential) and yellow (business) directories for just about every country in the world.
This is more useful that you may think because we can use these to trace British people who may have moved abroad, as their names often stand out in local telephone directories among the locals.
Also lots of countries, such as America, Canada, Portugal, India, to name but a few allow you to search via a telephone number, including landlines and mobiles, for the user's name and address.
I know this won’t be good enough for court purposes, but it will help further your research and enquiries, rather than waiting for weeks for an official response.
I know lots of people have moved from landlines to online telephone systems such as www.skype.com, which has over 600 million registered users who are searchable via, name, Skype name and email address. Account profiles often include additional personal information and a photograph.
When searching the internet, don’t restrict yourself to just searching in English as often an individual’s name will usually appear in the same form in any language.
When we have a result brought back to us, in whatever language, it is very easy at the click of a button to translate it into English. There are also times when we might be looking at a bit of foreign text and need it translated into English.
Also if we are sending emails abroad it is always worth making the effort of sending it in English and the local language, to encourage someone to reply to our enquiry. read more: Neil Smith is an investigative researcher and trainer in Open Source Intelligence Techniques, with a website at www.uk-osint.net. Follow him on Twitter @ukosint.