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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Google Will Take Drug Barons

The search giant Google has recently decided to take on the drug cartels, boldly going where the American government didn’t for decades. Brave or silly move? We’ll see!

With the start of “Breaking Bad” new season, everyone recalled the story of drug barons in Mexico, and so did Google. The company has announced that violent illegal networks are a trillion-dollar problem affecting every society in the world and claiming hundreds of thousands of lives annually. Meanwhile, the CIA, the FBI, Interpol and a number of full time armies and police forces have so far failed to dent the drugs lords, but against all that, Google believes it can help.

In 2011, the company ran a Summit Against Violent Extremism with ex-gang members, right-wing extremists, jihadists, militants, and survivors of violent extremism. The result of the summit included a platform that Google established as a one-stop shop for fighting violent extremism via formers and survivors.

When this success managed to stop violent extremism dead in its tracks, the search giant thought about expanding its focus to include violent illegal networks like human trafficking, narco-trafficking, organ harvesting and arms dealing.

Google claimed that technology really has the power to expose and dismantle global criminal networks that depend on secrecy and discretion in order to operate. Apparently, the problem is that once these networks are exposed, their members tend to start cutting the heads off people to be able to continue on their normal business.

As such, the search giant felt it was the right time to bring up the big guns and arrange another conference to tackle the problem. And it did! The announcements were that the company was convening “Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition” in LA. Google’s representatives explained that the conference in question would bring together survivors of sex trafficking, organ trafficking, and forced labor to government officials, numerous engineers, tech leaders and product managers from the company.

The aim of the conference was to find ways how technology can be used to expose and disrupt the illicit networks as a whole, as well as to put some of the suggestions into practice. We’ll be waiting for the results of the conference, and perhaps drug baron will be interested too…

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