goTravel Technical Introduction

Background

goTravel is a United Nations-owned software solution derived from the Travel Information Portal (TRIP), developed by The Netherlands.  The UN received full ownership of the TRIP solution at the margins of the High-Level Segment of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly and intends to further develop and deploy it to Member States also offering ongoing support and support the enhancement of their capacity to use API/PNR data to detect and counter terrorists and serious criminals and their travel movements in compliance with Security Council resolutions 2178 and 2396.

The United Nations Security Council resolutions 2178 & 2396 requires Member States to: 

  • Receive and analyze advance passenger information (API)
  • Receive and analyze passenger name records (PNR)
  • Make full use of relevant watchlists
  • Share information about FTF and terrorists using commercial air transports within their jurisdiction and across jurisdictions

goTravel supports the end-to-end process for law enforcement to obtain passenger data from (airline) carriers and conduct targeted analysis as well as share the findings of their data assessment. Member States adopt the UN-owned and operated goTravel solution to enable the automated analysis of large data volumes on passengers on all inbound and outbound traffic. For now, this is limited to air travel. Possible expansion of scope to maritime, international high-speed rail and coach information is under consideration. Expected data volumes to be analyzed in a near-real time basis exceed several millions records per year for any medium size country. Automated analysis and watch list matching are instrumental in enabling near-real time establishment of intelligence packages to be transmitted to competent authorities for their action on the ground, as relevant.

 

The United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) Service Provider Model

The UN Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) is one of the implementing partners under the UN Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT) capacity building effort and specifically project ‘Building Member State Capacity to Prevent, Detect and Investigate Terrorist Offences and Related Travel by Using Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) Data.’ 

OICT develops and maintains goTravel’s source code under the neutral United Nations Blue Flag within the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL) programme, with guidance from Member States who are using goTravel and are the key drivers for platform enhancements and new features.

The goTravel software solution is provided to Member States free of charge.  

A maintenance fee will be charged for the provision of expertise, including the deployment, installation and maintenance support to countries that adopt the solution. This cost-recovery model is based on Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with Member States adopting the goTravel solution. goTravel is deployed within Member States administrations and no data is managed by the UN/OICT.

 

Main functionalities

Screenshot of the homepage of the goTravel software solution
  • Perform as a single window accepting multiple data transfer standards including receiving PNR/API data from carriers in UN/EDIFACT PNRGOV (version 11.1 to 13.1), XML PNRGOV (version 13.2) or UN/EDIFACT PAXLST (version 05b) formats through ebMS (electronic business Messaging Service). Supported transmission protocol: AS4 Profile of ebMS 3.0 Version 1.0
  • Allow configuration of rule-based risk indicators and watchlists, and list the records that are matching against those rules
  • Perform an assessment of passengers prior to their scheduled arrival/departure (matching with risk indicators and watchlists)
  • Manually query PNR/API data for the purpose of helping competent authorities during ongoing investigations
  • Automatically notify competent authorities when goTravel identifies passenger data requiring further examination
  • Match received PNR data with official flight schedules collected from air control (based on flight schedules, goTravel can identify if carrier did not send the PNR/API data on time)
  • Enable analysts to reveal relationships between objects such as passengers, phone numbers, credit cards, etc. and visualize connections on graphs
  • Use social network analysis to identify formally unknown terrorists

 

Benefits

  • Supports global WCO/IATA/ICAO standards and recommended practices for API and PNR (conditional towards mandatory)
  • Complies with Chicago convention (IATA passenger data toolkit) EU Directive legislative mandate
  • Enables privacy protection
  • Includes a data sharing module that can be enabled for data sharing within the host jurisdiction and with other goTravel instances in other countries
  • Enables the establishment of intelligence packages that can then be disseminated for law enforcement action
  • Supports the operationalization of best practices in terrorist travel detection from a number of countries
  • Allows the targeting of “known and unknowns” by combining API/PNR data

The UN, through UNOCT and OICT fully supports the technology implementation for goTravel in relevant requesting country. The UN OICT team provides training for technical staff in Member States to maintain and operate their local goTravel installation.

Future enhancements of the platform including extending the use of Artificial Intelligence algorithms to facilitate the targeting of “unknowns" and the offering of goTravel “on-the-cloud” for adoption by requesting countries in an attempt to further reduce ICT infrastructure management costs.

 

Technology Stack

  • goTravel is built on standard technology (.Net, Angular JS, D3, MS Windows Server, Elasticsearch, OpenStreetMap, Internet Information Services, Microsoft Active Directory and ADFS role)
  • The software solution is hosted in the secure network of a Member State country
  • Its core is not exposed to the Internet
  • Air Carriers transmit data to the system via secure connection and B2B protocol

Events

Watch it on UN Web TV.

Introductory Video

The United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel Programme