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Google Joining Fight Against Drug Cartels 253

Several readers sent word that Google has announced its intention to start fighting drug cartels and other 'illicit networks.' According to a post on the official blog, the company thinks modern technology plays a key role in helping to 'expose and dismantle global criminal networks, which depend on secrecy and discretion in order to function.' They're holding a summit in Los Angeles this week, which aims to 'bring 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, which lasts until Wednesday, 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.'
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Google Joining Fight Against Drug Cartels

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  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:16PM (#40679857) Homepage

    So now they are siding with the "war on drugs" in order to push their means and methods which are considered by many as questionable of not simply creepy and discomforting? What's next? "Think of the children" and "fighting terror"?

    Google. You're a commercial interest whose product lies in the information you collect so you can sell more advertising and marketing services. I will not forget that. You have not forgotten that. Why do you want everyone else to forget that?

  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:16PM (#40679859)

    ... the same technology is aimed not at sex, drug, organ, or baby traffickers, but rather ordinary citizens trying to organize against an oppressive government.

    Google supposedly abandoned China over censorship. This is far and away more dangerous than mere filtering of words.


  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:26PM (#40679947) Journal

    When people read "drug cartel" they think of "illicit drugs", such as cocaine, meth, ice, and so on

    But who _are_ the real drug cartel ?

    Ever been to hospital lately ?

    Ever wonder why the hell everything there is so expensive ?

    Doctors of course wants to get their fair share and over-charge the patients, but, if we dig deep enough, we see a culture of vulture in the medical industry - and the "LEGAL DRUG" industry is a very essential part of the Culture of Vulture

    They always paint the picture of "It takes so and so billions to carry out the research" so "we need to charge so much and so much for the drugs to recover our cost"


    The legal drug industry is a MULTI-TRILLION DOLLAR industry, dominated by several oligopolies, and because of it, drugs that would have cost mere cents to produce are being sold for hundreds and hundreds of dollars

    No matter how big Google is, Google still can't take on the true "Drug Cartel". They are just too powerful !

  • by stevegee58 ( 1179505 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @07:32PM (#40679989) Journal
    Hello security theater.
  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @09:38PM (#40680863) Journal

    they are the same

    The three crimes you listed are all illegal and we all know the law is an ass, but that's were the similarity ends. The third is a victimless crime which leaves a lot of people like me scratching their heads as to WHY it is illegal in the first place. Laws are supposed to be made to benifit "the people", prohibition benifits nobody except the well organised thugs on both sides of the "war". We learnt that lesson with alcohol and it still baffles me that just after dismantiling alcohol prohibition because of it's detrimental effects on society, they turn around and do it again! As one would expect the same "cure" has caused same social tragedy as it did the first time around, this is evidenced by the fact that the US has 500K prisoners held for drug offences, whereas the EU with almost twice the population has a mere 600K prisoners held in total (that's all offrenses, not just drug offences). This is the primary reason why the US has the highest per-capita incaceration rate of ANY nation on the planet, including China and Saudi Arabia.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @04:03AM (#40683127)

    After a brief but extensive search online, I take back the "multi-trillion dollar industry" remark.

    Do you also take back your snide remarks? And just how does one do a brief but extensive search?

  • Re:Next? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RazorSharp ( 1418697 ) on Wednesday July 18, 2012 @08:48AM (#40684733)

    And Google should be commended for trying to help.

    Trying isn't enough. The only way to stop the drug cartels is to decriminalize drugs; and it will still be an uphill battle after the decriminalization. Until this happens everything else will just help to escalate the violence even further. There's ample proof for this from all around the world. Google should be condemned for participating in the abject farce that is called the war on drugs.

    I agree that Google should not be commended for trying, but not for the reason you mention. I see it as vigilantism and orchestrated vigilantism is a clear evil in my mind (opposed to non-orchestrated: i.e., you happen to see a mugging and interfere, but you're not going around scaling buildings in your Batsuit looking for muggings to interfere with).

    For some reason the governments of the world all think they're entitled to use Google as a tool for 'justice.' I appreciate Google's openness about what information they give out, and I appreciate a lot of the charity and projects they undertake in the name of positive social change, but a business has no place enforcing the law. In any instance. Corporate prisons and mercenaries are examples of the malfeasance. Businesses lack the moral authority that the government has to enforce the law.

    Concerning decriminalization: If you think cocaine should be decriminalized then you know very little about it. Perhaps if marijuana was decriminalized then enforcing cocaine prohibition wouldn't be so difficult. But cocaine isn't just highly addictive, it also causes direct damage to one's body. There's a reason crackheads have rotten teeth, deviated septums, and emphysema. For reference: Amy Winehouse. I agree that laws that target the users and give them prison time (such as Reagan's War on Drugs) are detrimental to society, but the government has a responsibility to fight trafficking. The only reason cocaine is so expensive is because the government fights trafficking. If cocaine became inexpensive and readily available in the U.S. it would do horrible things to society. The healthcare and prisons systems wouldn't be able to handle the burden.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes