Modernising law enforcement intelligence for a digital society
University of Groningen
The exponential rise in data and digitalisation presents a ‘double-edged sword’ for law enforcement agencies. They involve huge challenges including a greater sophistication in cyber-crime, the rise of the Dark Net and the exploitation of the Internet for terrorist purposes. But the data revolution also facilitates new ways of ‘doing intelligence’: Big Data is increasingly mobilised for crime prevention, crime prediction and national security. Increasing public scrutiny, however, places state agencies under strong pressure to utilise Big Data for intelligence purposes in an efficient, effective and ethical manner. How do state agencies strategize and operate under these constraints in such a complex environment? This paper evaluates the implementation of institutional change by law enforcement, building on interviews and policy documents. Specific attention is paid to historical institutionalism and ethics as lenses to provide further clarification on the trajectory of these agencies as they adapt to a digital era.