Codebreaker

Google wages war

Marc Sanchez Jul 19, 2012

High-level thinky brains have been meeting in Los Angeles since Tuesday, at Google’s request, taking part in the “Illicit Networks: forces in opposition” summit. Tired of waiting around for the cops or military or wading through red tape, the LA Times writes that Google

… aims to shine a light on the shadowy world of drug cartels, opium smugglers, money launderers, organ harvesters and human traffickers, is part of an ongoing effort to explore how technology can be used to address humanity’s most intractable problems.


The summit was conceived by Jared Cohen, ex-aide to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman at the Googs. Cohen currently runs Google Ideas, “a think/do tank.” Eric Schmidt spent time in some of the hardest hit cities in Mexico’s drug war, and now he wants to enlist Google in the battle. The LA Times writes of Cohen:

He left Washington for New York to practice what he calls 21st century statecraft at Google, where he could harness the power and resources of the tech giant. He says bringing together people who study illicit networks and those who have been their victims can break down silos and help lead to solutions. He and Schmidt traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Mexico to learn more about these criminal networks.


Schmidt seems driven to find answers and has taken it upon himself, in some cases, to visit some of the worst-hit cities in Mexico’s war on drugs, which has claimed over 47,500 lives since 2009. The Business Insider highlights:

Google’s ideas include creating a network so citizens can safely report cartel activity without fear of retribution. It wants to make sharing real-time intelligence easier among police in different regions. It can identify how individuals are connected to each other, to bank accounts and even to corrupt government officials. It can create community Web platforms for citizens to share information and name and shame criminals.

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