Google has decided to take on the drug barons, boldly going where the US government didn’t for decades.
Writing in its corporate bog, Google said that violent illicit networks represent a trillion-dollar problem that affects every society in the world and claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year.
The CIA, the FBI, Interpol and several full time armies and police forces have failed to dent the drugs lords but against all that, Google thinks it can help.
Last year Google ran a Summit Against Violent Extremism with former gang members, right-wing extremists, jihadists and militants as well as survivors of violent extremism. Among the many outcomes of the summit was a platform that the company established as a one-stop shop for tackling violent extremism through formers and survivors.
After this success stopped violent extremism dead in its tracks, Google thought about expanding its focus to include violent illicit networks such as narco-trafficking, human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms dealing.
It said that technology has the power to expose and dismantle global criminal networks, which depend on secrecy and discretion in order to function.
Of course the problem is that the moment these types are exposed they tend to start cutting the heads off people and continuing on their normal business.
So Google feels it is time to bring up the big guns and organise another conference.
Today it is convening Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition in Los Angeles.
A spokesGoogle said that the conference will bring together survivors of organ trafficking, sex trafficking and forced labor to government officials, dozens of engineers, tech leaders and product managers from Google.
The idea is to find ways that technology can be used to expose and disrupt these networks as a whole—and to put some of these ideas into practice.