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Using forensic linguistics techniques to assist online investigations on the Dark and clear webs workshop,  4 October 2022



  • An exclusive workshop which explores how forensic linguistics can be used as a practical tool to enable investigators to find out more about the identity, activities, and motivations of those engaging in Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse activities both on the clear web and the Dark Web. 


  • It will be led by Dr Emily Chiang from the prestigious Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics, who will present the findings of her exclusive research in which she has studied the interactions of online CSAE criminals as individuals and as they operate in online communities.


  • Dr Chiang will provide valuable insights into the current threat picture of how criminals operate on both the surface and Dark Webs. 


  • Her findings detail how security conscious these closed communities have become and how aware they are of the risks of being infiltrated by law enforcement.


  • Dr Chiang will also explain how these offenders are interacting, describing activities such as image sharing, asking for advice from fellow members and sharing their experiences. 



  • The event will be run online via Teams.


  • Certificates of CPD available


The Investigator is hosting this exclusive workshop that explores how investigators can use forensic linguistic techniques in online CSAE investigations on both the Dark Web and surface web.


Our expert speaker Dr Emily Chiang will describe how she uses the discipline of forensic linguistics – including rhetorical move analysis and speech act theory (exploring how communicative goals are achieved through language) to explore linguistic identity in online CSAE interactions and provide advice to investigators on the strategies they can use in their operational activities to safely interact with these communities without being detected. 


The day will also include findings from Dr Chiang’s research into self-styled paedophile hunting groups, dark web criminal communities as well as research from colleagues demonstrating other criminal/legal contexts in which forensic linguistics can assist. 


Our event will be aimed at investigators who are working on both the clear and dark web and who want to develop an understanding of how their work can be enhanced by using forensic linguistic techniques. 


The day will also include: 

  • Introduction to forensic linguistics: how can we help?

  • Linguistic construction of identities online

  • Patterns of linguistic behaviour of online groomers 

  • Finding the ‘real’ identity in offenders who create multiple online personas

  • Differences in the language of child victims vs adult decoys - and why they matter

  • How undercover police learn to emulate the language of offenders

  • Power hierarchies and newbie offenders in dark web CSAE communities

Terms and conditions

NB: the price quoted is for one delegate to view the event live at the time of transmission. We do not provide copies of the recording to be viewed at a later date as our events are not open access events and we hold the copyright.  Reproduction without prior consent is strictly prohibited.


Cost: £189.75 + VAT (GBP) per delegate 

Booking: Please send the delegates name(s), email address(es) and purchase order (made out to The Investigator) to or telephone +44(0)844 660 8707 for further information. This is open to LEA, Government and public sector security contractors only.


Under no circumstances will a delegate be able to register using a free webmail address (ie: gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail, AOL etc) but you can use one to login into Teams once your work email has been verified.

Payment can be made by PayPal/debit/credit card (corporate card fees apply + 3%). 

The meeting link will be sent out 7 days before the event.