Thursday, August 16, 2012

Google Ideas targets human trafficking, illicit networks 

Google Ideas
, the online giant's think tank, has set its focus on optimizing technology to curb the power of illicit networks, including their role in human trafficking.

In partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Tribeca Film Festival, Google Ideas convened a major summit on Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition (INFO) in Los Angeles, California last month. According to the CFR Blog, the INFO summit "explored the potential of technology to 'expose, map, and disrupt' illicit networks around the world, and to empower individuals, civil society, governments, and corporations to fight back."

Under the umbrella of violent illicit networks, Google Ideas is targeting narco-trafficking, human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms dealing.

"Too often illicit networks are seen only in the silos of those who study them," Google said in an online statement. "[The INFO summit sought] to break down those silos by bringing together a full-range of stakeholders, from survivors of organ trafficking, sex trafficking and forced labor to government officials, dozens of engineers, tech leaders and product managers from Google and beyond. Through the summit…we hope to discover ways that technology can be used to expose and disrupt these networks as a whole-and to put some of these ideas into practice."

Watch a video (featuring UN.GIFT Special Advisor for Victims Rani Hong) about the summit here:

In addition to illicit networks, Google Ideas also focuses on counter-radicalization and fragile states.

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