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Google Joining Fight Against Drug Cartels

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the who-gets-to-define-illicit dept.

Crime 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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253 comments

Next? (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#40679807)

War on dissent and alternative information sources.

Re:Next? (5, Insightful)

slick7 (1703596) | about 2 years ago | (#40679909)

War on dissent and alternative information sources.

The war on drugs, as well as all other wars, only profit the profiteers. The wars are a lost cause. The first casualties in any conflict are truth and innocence.

Re:Next? (2)

hutsell (1228828) | about 2 years ago | (#40680297)

War on dissent and alternative information sources.

The war on drugs, as well as all other wars, only profit the profiteers. The wars are a lost cause. The first casualties in any conflict are truth and innocence.

“The man who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself.”
Google will be no an exception.

Re:Next? (0, Troll)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40680573)

Are you seriously slamming Google for somehow profiting off of attacking human trafficking networks?

How, exactly, does that work?

Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40679947)

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"

Really?

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 !
 

Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680087)

Hundreds and hundreds of dollars? I just approved coverage of a medication that cost $250,000/month taken for life. Yeah, creepy.

Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680137)

Not to sound crude, but how long is the patient expected to live? That, as I understand, is one of the factors when pricing the drug.

Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (1, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | about 2 years ago | (#40680149)

What a load of crap.

1) The global prescription drug revenue is not even $1 trillion. Where are you getting this "multi-trillion dollar industry"?

2) Drugs cost money to develop, show efficacy in clinical trials, etc. Most drugs going through the pipeline are duds. For the ones that do work we have patents. And once those 20 years are up, those drugs become generic and cheaper. The generics work, and most people should be opting for them. If they aren't they're just being sheltered from the true cost of the name-brand drugs. Or do you think drugs like atorvastatin just came out of nowhere?

3) Really? You're comparing drug cartels to the pharmaceutical industry? When was the last time Pfizer beheaded someone? How many people have the Sinaloa cartel beheaded last month?

Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (3, Informative)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#40680417)

1) The global prescription drug revenue is not even $1 trillion

Oh, this _is_ cute !!

First of all, the total expenditure of LEGAL drugs is MUCH MORE than mere "prescription drugs" bills

For example over-the-counter non-prescription drugs, such as Aspirin, are still being made by oligopolies of the Legal Drug Industry, such as Bayer

Although there are generic brands of Aspirin, Bayer is still raking in truckloads of $$$ from Aspirin

Another example - Many drugs expenditures are not included under your "under 1 trillion dollar global prescription drug expenditure" category because they are being used in hospitals (for example, anesthesiological drugs that are being used in surgical theatre), by military medics in conflict areas around the world, prescription drugs that are being sold to American buyers in border towns in Mexico, and so on

And secondly, your "under one trillion dollar" figure is suspicious, at best - because the figure you quote is only from USA/Europe/Japan.

You have conveniently omitted the figure from countries such as India, or the whole African continent, or China, or Latin America

Those countries may not be spending as much on "prescription drugs" simply because a lot of those so-called "prescription drugs" are not classified under the "prescription" criteria in many countries around the world.
 

Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (3, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | about 2 years ago | (#40680499)

Here you go [dailyfinance.com]

Global pharmaceutical sales are expected to grow by 5% to 7% in 2011 to around $880 billion, compared with a rise of 4% to 5% this year, thanks to robust growth in emerging markets, especially China, as well as new innovative treatments, according to IMS Health. The headwinds pushing back against that growth include budget pressures in the developed world and patent expirations.

The 17 so-called "pharmerging countries," which include such nations as Brazil, Russia, India, Venezuela, Poland and the Ukraine, are forecast to see their pharmaceutical spending grow at a 15% to 17% rate in 2011, to between $170 billion and $180 billion overall. Especially impressive is the rise in what is now the world's third-largest pharmaceutical market: China. Spending there is predicted to grow by 25% to 27% to more than $50 billion next year.

Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680467)

What a load of crap.

1) The global prescription drug revenue is not even $1 trillion. Where are you getting this "multi-trillion dollar industry"?

Market cap

2) Drugs cost money to develop, show efficacy in clinical trials, etc. Most drugs going through the pipeline are duds. For the ones that do work we have patents. And once those 20 years are up, those drugs become generic and cheaper. The generics work, and most people should be opting for them.

Why do you think non-generics still exists? In any sane system, as soon as generics are available, the price of non-generic ones would become the same as generics or the non-generics would go of the market. Any reason why this is not happening?

3) Really? You're comparing drug cartels to the pharmaceutical industry? When was the last time Pfizer beheaded someone? How many people have the Sinaloa cartel beheaded last month?

Some people consider beheadings to more humane than what the drug/insurance cartel does. I was just reading about a case [google.com] where a in-patient was called by the insurance company and told that she was safe to leave and they threatened to not cover any further charges if she does not leave the hospital the same day. She was seriously ill, and all the insurance company could think about was their bottom line?

Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (3, Insightful)

Afecks (899057) | about 2 years ago | (#40680531)

2) Drugs cost money to develop, show efficacy in clinical trials, etc. Most drugs going through the pipeline are duds. For the ones that do work we have patents. And once those 20 years are up, those drugs become generic and cheaper. The generics work, and most people should be opting for them. If they aren't they're just being sheltered from the true cost of the name-brand drugs. Or do you think drugs like atorvastatin just came out of nowhere?

For starters, healthcare would be cheaper because there would be no patents on drugs, there would be no mandatory medical licensing and there would be no need for the currently absurd amounts of malpractice insurance.

1. Drug patents - Intellectual property is incompatible with libertarianism. Instead of recovering R&D costs through artificial government enforced monopolies, R&D would be paid for by private investors and charity. Americans donate something like 300 billion dollars to charity each year. Much of the cost for new drugs is spent jumping through FDA hoops. Historically, the first to market with new drugs retain something like 80% market share even when competitors make generic versions. The FDA has the incentive to keep new drugs off the market because if the FDA makes a mistake, it gets bad press. Whereas the millions that die each year because they are denied safe and effective drugs by the FDA go unnoticed (kind of like how jobs that are lost make the papers but the jobs that are never created go unnoticed).

2. Licensing - While it seems wise to let doctors regulate doctors (who else would be a better expert than existing experts), putting existing firms in charge of regulating the competition is a terrible idea. Because new regulations typically apply only to new licensees, the current firms can make unreasonable rules to prevent new competition. There's no incentive to improve the standards and every incentive to make them stricter than necessary. Current absurd standards involve language requirements for doctors in a bid to keep out foreign competition. Being able to speak English has no bearing on medical expertise. Translators are a lot cheaper than English speaking doctors.

3. Malpractice Insurance - Removing an infected splinter recently cost a close relative around $800, a procedure that should have cost closer to $80. Why? Because if anything were to go wrong, the doctor could be sued and therefore has to charge more to cover insurance premiums. Allowing individuals to sign waivers allowing minimal or no insurance coverage would put the choice where it belongs, with the risk taker. You can pay $800 if you want that kind of security or you can pay $80 if you are willing to take the risk that removing a splinter could turn into a life-threatening catastrophe.

This is merely scratching the surface of the reasons that the American medical system is a joke. For deeper analysis of the FDA, check out Mary Ruwart's interviews and website. She was a pharmaceutical research scientist for Upjohn Pharmaceuticals for 19 years. Robert Murphy has a concise article called "Flower Power" on how occupational licensing hurts us all. Finally, a good read is Richard Epstein's article "Medical Malpractice: The Case for Contract" for obvious reasons.

Re:Who are the real "Drug Cartel" ? (2)

slew (2918) | about 2 years ago | (#40680405)

Drugs aren't the reason hospitals are so expensive. Hospitals mostly just pass on the cost of drugs to their patients (via their insurance companies). If two drugs cost $10 and $100, and the hospital wanted to charge you $100 to put a pill in a cup, you would likely be billed $110 and $200, respectively. The reason hospitals are so expensive ($100 to put a pill in a cup is not unheard of) is that they spend money on stuff (like medical equipment) that is overpriced and then need to bill it out. Hospitals also have to cover for uninsured treatment losses (mostly ER related).

As to why drugs are so expensive, well the main reason for that is that we've collectively decided to pay them in the US. Some other countries have decided otherwise.

Why have we decided to pay the high price for pills in the US? Well, it's of course complicated, but often it boils down to the fact that it is sometimes strangely cheaper to give someone a standard overpriced pill than have a high-priced doctor supervise a custom course of treatment. Thus insurance companies would rather pay a standardize price for a pill (that they can knock down the price, don't be fooled that they pay that price), than try to figure out how to cost out a non-standard treatment by a doctor.

Don't fool yourself, if some actuary in an insurance company thought it would be cheaper to pay for a custom doctor supervised treatment than to pay an over-inflated price for a pill, they would do it in a heartbeat. Thus, there is no incentive for the magic pill makers to drop their prices below the cost of equivalent doctor supervised treatment with using cheaper pills.

Let's be clear, I'm not saying that doctors and hospital and drug-companies aren't skimming off huge of profits, but most of the profit is a result of our desire to have the latest and greatest cool stuff (not unlike Apple). Those one-off stories about some patient not being able to afford some cancer therapy drug tug at the heartstrings, but in reality affects a very small part of their bottom line (many times, the drug companies just end up donating those drugs to kill the bad publicity). A drug like Lipitor, Humira, Nexium, and Viagra are the USD$1B drugs they are really concerned about and those are the ones that feed into the human desire for the latest and greatest and they are just charging what the market will bear...

The real question (in my mind) is how to stop the consolidation of the drug companies into multi-national monopolies (reducing competition) and generating entities that are too-big-to-fail (can't sue them out of existance, who will make the drugs)? That's is a general problem that has less to do with drug companies in specific, but all companies in general.

Re:Next? (4, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#40679971)

Re:Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680135)

Dont forget wells fargo
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-29/banks-financing-mexico-s-drug-cartels-admitted-in-wells-fargo-s-u-s-deal.html

And dont forget bank of america
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/09/los-zetas-laundered-money-bank-america_n_1658943.html

and who could forget jp morgan doing their share of money laundering for the vatican bank at that..

Re:Next? (2)

puto (533470) | about 2 years ago | (#40680483)

As a Colombian, do not post anything Colombia Reports posts, while some topics might hold a grain of truth, they are just regurgitated articles translated by the owner without giving credit to whomever wrote the article originally. And as a US citizen, we have done much wrong, but as a personal friend of the DEA boss in Colombia, we are doing much right. Colombians are quick to sell out their own, it is hardly the Unites States' fault.

Re:Next? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40680003)

I'm just thinking, isn't a private corporation fighting a was on drug cartels a potential way for various officers to end up in ditches somewhere? Just asking because a long time ago I knew some people personally that were involved in this kind of thing and I'm here to tell you, they don't play and they have no compunctions in coming for you and your family. Google should probably think twice about this one.

Re:Next? (1)

Zeroedout (2036220) | about 2 years ago | (#40680269)

Shitty for the executives, but during the slaughter, the word "Google" will be making headlines on every kind of news media. Now that's a level of dedication only engineers can provide ;)

Re:Next? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40680559)

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.'

Not just about drugs, and its kind of crappy that youd take potshots at them for trying to go above and beyond "just profit".

Honestly, as corporations go, Google tends to be the lease onerous "big guy", ESPECIALLY in regards to "alternatives". Who else would offer 8 zillion ways to get your information out of their services and into someone elses? Who else would actually let you opt out of their bread and butter advertising services?

This may come across as shillish, and if you think so so be it, but its a little tiresome that even when corporations try to go above and beyond they get nailed for it. I have a feeling Sony could announce tomorrow that its donating $1 billion to ending human trafficking in Amsterdam, and someone would find a reason to nail them over it. That being the case, what incentive is there for ANY company to ever try, if theyre never going to get credit where credit is due?

PS, if you think "war on drugs" is limited to just the actions the US takes and doesnt have a more literal meaning, you should take a look at Mexico. Whether or not you approve of US policy RE: drugs, the drug cartels ARE a huge problem in mexico and any effort to tear them down is wonderful.

If we start filtering... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679819)

If we start filtering, we should start with alcohol. The most damaging drug.

Re:If we start filtering... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679843)

Absolutely. Prohibition always works. Worked great for booze - works great for weed, heroin, cocaine and meth.

Re:If we start filtering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679913)

If your alcohol needs filtering you are drinking it wrong

Re:If we start filtering... (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#40679931)

First off, filtering often improves the quality and strength of alcohol. Second, alcohol is far from the most damaging drug. But it may be the most prevalent.

Don't be evil (5, Insightful)

detritus. (46421) | about 2 years ago | (#40679827)

One innocent person spied on, arrested or charged with the help of Google to advance this "don't be evil" agenda is one too many.
You can't be evil to fight evil. You're passing ones and zeroes back and forth for crying out loud...

Re:Don't be evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679885)

The we'll have to make sure that everyone spied on is found guilty.

Re:Don't be evil (3, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about 2 years ago | (#40680215)

One innocent person spied on, arrested or charged with the help of Google to advance this "don't be evil" agenda is one too many.
You can't be evil to fight evil. You're passing ones and zeroes back and forth for crying out loud...

This is absurd. Obviously every human system for making decisions is going to make errors; those errors will be both type I (false positive) and type II (false negative). While it's up for debate what the acceptable ratio of those errors is when making laws or punishing lawbreakers, it's pretty clearly false that even one false positive is more evil than any number of false negatives. For a tongue-in-cheek historical overview of the arguments over *what* the ratio is, see N Guilty Men [ucla.edu].

None of this is to impute that we are giving criminal defendants a fair shake or that the system as a whole could do better (which I think, by the way, there are reforms that would reduce both type I and type II errors simultaneously, thus convicting more of the guilty and acquitting more of the innocent). Nor do I dispute that we should err very strongly on the side of acquitting the guilty rather than punishing the innocent -- the magnitude of the error is not nearly the same. But to get any useful traction on the problem, you can't start with "it's evil to have a system that convicts even a single innocent suspect" because that ignores that such a system would have to acquit so many guilty suspects to get the 0% error rate (if not all of them). Instead, you have to do the hard work of looking at each particular policy and judge whether, taken as a whole and including the effect of wrongful conviction, unpunished crime, criminals that go on after one offense to violate the rights of more victims and so forth, the policy is a net positive or a net negative.

The same extends to Google's program here -- maybe it's evil, maybe it's not, but it certainly doesn't merit such a judgment based on the existence of even a single false positive.

Re:Don't be evil (1)

detritus. (46421) | about 2 years ago | (#40680369)

It seems you somehow think that Google only operates in countries with flawless human rights records.
The point I'm making is we're dealing with international cartels who operate world wide in countries where you DON'T get a fair trial, let alone a trial.

Mixed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679849)

Marketing ploy or genuine interest? Methinks likely both.

Vacation plans (5, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#40679855)

Google execs better change their plans if they were going to vacation in Mexico any time soon.

Oh shit... this is their excuse? (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#40679857)

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?

This is all well and good.. until... (2, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

--
BMO

Re:This is all well and good.. until... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680147)

We see your user name at the top of your post. There's no reason to use it as your sig!

Redundant +1

Should rename themselves (1, Funny)

landofcleve (1959610) | about 2 years ago | (#40679863)

Gootcha.

Re:Should rename themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680209)

That sounds like some slang term for a sexual organ.

Re:Should rename themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680301)

Either way, someone getting fooked.

hmmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679869)

Google = Carnivore

Will there be booth babes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679875)

More importantly, any booth babes handing out samples, so that we can be more ...erm... vigilant?

Miserable Failure (0)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#40679881)

Google decided a long time ago who they support and who they punish. For years they said they couldn't stop that bomb, but it was fixed days after Obama took office and the official bio was updated.

Mixing up their criminals (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | about 2 years ago | (#40679887)

Let's not lump drug trafficking in with sex and organ trafficking. The latter are heinous atrocities, the former is a contrived product of repressive government policy.

Drug trafficking would never have become a problem if governments hadn't created the giant void in the market that allowed them to exist in the first place. People want to get high, they will do so whether the nanny statists like it or not.

Re:Mixing up their criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680169)

Let's not lump drug trafficking in with sex and organ trafficking. The latter are heinous atrocities, the former is a contrived product of repressive government policy.

Drug trafficking would never have become a problem if governments hadn't created the giant void in the market that allowed them to exist in the first place. People want to get high, they will do so whether the nanny statists like it or not.

how is that any different?

people want organs and can not wait..
people want to have sex with partners who do not consent with no repercussions.
people want to get high.

they are the same, just because people want something that is illegal and you happen to think said choice should be legal does not make them different things.

Re:Mixing up their criminals (0)

psiclops (1011105) | about 2 years ago | (#40680307)

pedophelia and downloading copyrighted material are the same thing because they are both illegal.

people want to violate little children
people want to listen to music for free

Re:Mixing up their criminals (1)

Zeroedout (2036220) | about 2 years ago | (#40680395)

how is that any different?

people want organs and can not wait.. people want to have sex with partners who do not consent with no repercussions. people want to get high.

they are the same, just because people want something that is illegal and you happen to think said choice should be legal does not make them different things.

That's a good point, however drugs are very different in one way, no one has to get hurt. The OP didn't make this point but it holds true for the discussion.

Also legal drug production also means safer drug usage. However I suppose you can argue that this point applies to organs and sex trading as well. If it's going to happen anyway, why not legalize and regulate it so we can make sure it's as safe as possible? If you don't like what's going on, let's spend part of the tax revenue on educating about the problems associated with the behaviour. Eventually it can become taboo. Smoking is legal, but it has become socially unacceptable.

Re:Mixing up their criminals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680551)

people want organs and can not wait..
This harms the person who had their organ stolen

people want to have sex with partners who do not consent with no repercussions.
This harms the person forced into non-consensual sex.

people want to get high.
This hurts absolutely no one else.

they are the same
Two things hurt someone else, and the third does not, yet those are the same thing?

The only harm at all comes from the government directly, due directly to their actions.
If that counts, then by the same logic breathing is harmful, because I claim I will hurt you if I see you breathing.

Playing with matches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679897)

I wouldn't want it known that I were working on such a thing, let alone publicly announce it. The Mexican drug cartels are some of the most ruthless organizations currently on the planet and have shown they have no qualms with brutally executing anyone they consider a threat or in their way. They also have the reach and resources to target someone at Google who is working on the project in order to send a message. I would not be surprised if at some point during the next few years we see a Slashdot story about a murdered Google engineer.

Much like prohibition gave rise to powerful mob gangs in the early part of the last century, the current drug laws have resulted in similarly powerful groups of outlaws. Worse still, the Mexican government seems powerless to stop them.

Re:Playing with matches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679987)

Mexican and the American govt. I agree you dont want to mess with these people.

Re:Playing with matches (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40680035)

This is exactly what I was thinking. These guys [wikipedia.org] don't play and it's all fun and games in the server room until they come for you and your family. Google needs to rethink this in the worst kind of way.

War on drugs (1)

mynamestolen (2566945) | about 2 years ago | (#40679901)

The War on Drugs is actually a war against human nature. It is immoral, expensive, fosters corruption and is doomed to failure.

Re:War on drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680091)

Yep, that's human nature alright.

Good news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679911)

They can start by eliminating all advertising by big banks, arms dealers, genetic engineering companies, and propaganda put out by the major news networks

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679927)

Why arms dealers? Arms manufacturing has probably got to be the biggest item Americans still physically manufacture.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679953)

I can see the smugness on your face right from here.

Hire smarter police officers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679925)

Why not just promote good old fashioned police work.

We should be more worried about why US Law Enforcement sucks so bad at stopping illicit networks with the tools they have, because they already have a ton of them. We need intelligent investigators, not idiots out shaking people down and writing traffic tickets. Local police I have dealt with couldn't catch a cold, never mind a crook.

The answer is pretty simple to me.

IT Heros (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679943)

There are so many ways that the those in the information technology world are acting as heros. Tech Leaders [jobs.net] all over the world are making positive changes in the world. Not only is this exciting for humanity, it gives those who don't get near enough recognition some props!

Invasion Of Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679949)

There we go again, Google trying everything they can to invade people's privacy! Drug lords are people too!

iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679955)

That's why I own an iPhone.

simple (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40679957)

This would pretty much end the vast majority on internet-related crime.
1. ignore do not follow links, follow them anyway, just don't index them or count them in any way. In other words, snoop. Any illegal forums or whatever are always "cloaked" from all robots with a robots.txt file. Then Google would have a hyperintelligent robot constantly scanning the entire internet and determining its content. It could find illegal stuff so easily.
2. stop indexing stuff related to illegal keywords!! Seriously. If someone wants to find something illegal on the web, they're not psychic. They freaking Google it! I know anti-drug and anti-other illegal stuff sites would get a bit mixed out but their robot is pretty darn smart and they have humans review stuff all the time with adsense and certain webmaster tools features.
3. compare all photos purely on a digital scale (like calculate a hash or checksum of it) found by the image search robot to an FBI database that I'm sure exists of hashes or checksums of photos that are deemed illegal like logos from illegal drug sellers or illegal porn and report any instance of it found anywhere ever.
Or how about they throw all that away and tell people that anyone who consistently searches for multiple illegal search terms will have all their google account (if logged in) and IP information logged. That'll scare anyone without TOR into not even searching for it in the first place.

Problem solved.

Re:simple (2)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40680045)

2. stop indexing stuff related to illegal keywords!

What, exactly, are these?

Explain. Give 5 examples and the law that says they're illegal.

>more farcical stuff I shall not even deign to ask you to back up

>making the searching for certain terms a red flag

You're quite the totalitarian bootlicker.

--
BMO

Re:simple (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40680141)

What's the point?

ignore do not follow links

Then that defeats the whole purpose of it in the first place. "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear," though, right?

That'll scare anyone without TOR into not even searching for it in the first place.

No, at most, it'll scare people into using something like TOR or not using Google.

Who decides which networks are evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679959)

Sure, we all want to stop heroin and kiddie porn dealers.
But what about file sharing?
Political dissidents?
Competitors of Google?

Google is not a democracy.

Full stop. (2)

sidragon.net (1238654) | about 2 years ago | (#40679965)

This is an attempt to legitimize any incursion into privacy they want. No adversary so sophisticated as the drug cartels will engage in illegal activity out in the open, so to speak. It is entirely trivial to deploy tools for securing communications. The only logical conclusions to this initiative are: infringements upon the rights of innocents, and prohibitions on cryptography and anonymity.

End drug cartels by legalizing drugs (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40679975)

End drug cartels by legalizing drugs. When you prohibit something with a large, inelastic demand you create violence. There's a reason why (except in prisons where they are banned) you don't see people stabbing other people for cigarettes because they are available just about anywhere. When alcohol was banned in the US, there was a rise in organized crime selling booze. When prohibition ended, gang violence declined massively. Prohibition didn't work with alcohol and it doesn't work with drugs.

Re:End drug cartels by legalizing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680201)

Yeah, but I do want to stab some cigarette burners for all the trash they spread. Can't even go two feet to the trash.

Re:End drug cartels by legalizing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680347)

Throwing an extinguished cigarette into trash can start a fire. I would rather see trash than fire!

Re:End drug cartels by legalizing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680373)

Everyone gives a shit. Really. Let us know who else you'd like to stab.

Re:End drug cartels by legalizing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680353)

Plus we could get really high all the time!

Re:End drug cartels by legalizing drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680457)

End drug cartels by legalizing drugs. When you prohibit something with a large, inelastic demand you create violence. There's a reason why (except in prisons where they are banned) you don't see people stabbing other people for cigarettes because they are available just about anywhere. When alcohol was banned in the US, there was a rise in organized crime selling booze. When prohibition ended, gang violence declined massively. Prohibition didn't work with alcohol and it doesn't work with drugs.

Drug cartels sell more than drugs. They also sell human beings and organs. The organs were not donations.

Drug sale and organ sale prohibitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679983)

Are doomed to failure and create intended consequences that are worse than the supposed good that is said to come from prohibition.

Google is on the wrong side of morality if you ask me.

They have become a public utility arm of misguided states.

And they said the internet was going to change things.

Alert: Google employees now at risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40679999)

Remember when Anonymous was going to out the names of various cartel members and then backed off after the cartels said they would kill Anonymous members who leaked the names? If even Anonymous was afraid, then Google is in DEEP SHIT.

Re:Alert: Google employees now at risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680157)

Google employees should start demanding hazard pay.

Re:Alert: Google employees now at risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680195)

That was my first thought as well. I worry for Google employees but I am sure they wouldn't be stupid enough to engage in this if they didn't have a decent plan.

Nice PR Stunt (1)

freakinangry (991056) | about 2 years ago | (#40680001)

You won't address the "drug problem" until you've addressed the demand... and ultimately, I know this is a leap, but the economic inequities on this planet that push desperate people to traffic drugs, slaves, organs, etc.

Re:Nice PR Stunt (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40680071)

No, the demand for drugs will not go away. What we need to do is make sure the demand for drugs doesn't spill over into violence. Remember, there was a time in the history of the United States where every drug was legal, pharmacists sold morphine and you could buy cocaine drops to cure toothaches. Were people addicted? Of course they were, just like today, but what we didn't see that we see today is the violence associated with the drug trade.

Google sells people, more data more money (5, Insightful)

Stonefish (210962) | about 2 years ago | (#40680009)

This is a PR and marketing strategy. Google relies on selling people to companies however this hegemony is threatened by lawmakers whom may constrain what google collects. By saying that we might be able to win the war of drugs if you let us collect more data on people is a simple strategy and the government is so silly that they'll buy it.
They want people to associate limitations on google's ability to collect data with crime.

Re:Google sells people, more data more money (1)

Tibixe (1138927) | about 2 years ago | (#40680481)

This is a PR and marketing strategy.

No, this is eliminating the competition. Google needs Internet addicts, therefore moves to eliminate competing addictions.

Alerting the Criminals - brillaint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680015)

So they've basically given the criminal elements they want to stop at least a 6 month head start on knowing they will need to figure out different methodologies. Brilliant work guys

Not going to work with a corrupt system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680025)

I don't see what they can accomplish when the whole system is broken.
There are systemic problems that no amount of technology will fix.
The bad guys will use technology too.
As long as we are willing to put in a jail some poor slob addicted to something or some other poor slob that is involved in the illicit market, then you will find others that will take advantage of them.
We often know who the bosses are, but how can you stop them when all their "soldiers" won't talk, do the dirty work, or just cause even more problems we all have to deal with?
We arrest the ones in the middle, repeatedly, day after day after day, and where is this getting us? We all pay for this too. And the "good guys" aren't really all that "good" if you look at the big picture, they are looking out for their "way of life" too.
So occasionally we take down some big guy, and?
Here comes the next one.
Good luck attacking the symptoms Google.

You've done evil! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680097)

You've done evil... it's time to die.

Hire better police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680109)

We should be asking ourselves why Law Enforcement can't stop illicit networks with the tools they already have.

Maybe we should get rid of the police unions and hire a new police force that will actually get the job done.

The police I have met couldn't catch a cold, never mind a crook. They seem more focused on shaking people down and writing traffic offenses then actually using their brains to tackle crime, especially organized powerful networks.

We what the internet to improve productivity! (3, Funny)

hamster_nz (656572) | about 2 years ago | (#40680125)

The internet is great for all businesses, but it better not improve the productivity of :
- drug traffickers,

- child predators

- religious fundamentalist (except Christians of course!)

- unauthorised file sharing

- white power groups (except those in the Southern USA, where it is a tradition).

- anti governmental uprisings (except in Egypt and Syria - those uprisings are OK)

- or scammers and spammers (except those Himalayian Gojo berries and commercial Vitamin pills - those are real businesses)

- those promoting the views on "Global Warming/ Climate change", on either side of the debate

- school kids who "dis" their school

- People who believe that endless economic growth is impossible and ultimately unsustainable - the end is near!

Invitation to abuses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680139)

The tehcniques to "expose and dismantle global criminal networks, which depend on secrecy and discretion in order to function" are exactly the same as the techniques to expose and dismantle *any* private communications - including those or people trying to reform oppressive governments, or acting in service of human rights or justice. The pervasive surveillance infrastructure is exactly the same for either purpose. Moreover, you don't know which is the case until you subvert their communications.

To paraphrase LBJ, the test of any policy is not the intent, but who is subject to harm, and how, when (not if) it is misapplied.

We MUST Stop the Drug Cartels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680155)

For the Sake of Our CHILDREN!

Hire better police (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680159)

We should be asking ourselves why Law Enforcement cannot stop crime with the tools they already have. They are the largest and most funded organization with powers the cartel could only dream of (At least here in the United States).

Maybe it's time to get rid of The Fraternal Order of Police and hire a more competent police.

The local police I have encountered shake people down and write traffic tickets. I have never really been impressed with any investigative ability besides their skill in looking like steroidal buffoons.

I doubt they could catch a cold, never mind a crook with half a brain.

Survivors of organ trafficing? (1)

Snotnose (212196) | about 2 years ago | (#40680219)

from survivors of organ trafficking, sex trafficking

Survivors of Organ trafficking? You mean people are really waking up in ice filled bathtubs? Or are the syndicates making the 3 breasted prostitutes from Total Recal?

U.S. Government, big drug cartel (3, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#40680223)

Federal agencies get funding from illegal narcotics when congress says no to programs, that's why our troops in Afghanistan protect drug lords, fields, shipments. Some federal reserve banks launder money for the cartels, that also big business. The victimless crimes that keep at least a third of the prison population are also fodder for the huge business of the prison systems. Therefore, the price of narcotics must be kept high and so the "war on drugs" escalates. We fight both sides of the "war on drugs", it's big money and agenda driver.

Google is just going where the money is (1)

Ritual (944936) | about 2 years ago | (#40680231)

They want their piece of the pie of the big business that is "Law enforcement". It will take millions of dollars to filter out such words as "marijuana" and "bing". Then they will join the police in doing as little as possible for the most amount of money, while calling themselves irreplaceable in the fight on terrorism, drugs, .

Why Do We Need To Stop Drugs? (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#40680241)

The people who do drugs chose to do drugs. It is not like we haven't made damn sure that every person in the United States knows that partaking in drugs is stupid. They are not acting in ignorance. They have been warned. If people want to be stupid, let them be stupid. It is their life. They aren't hurting anyone else. If legal, at least all the violent drug lords will go out of business. Also, we would be saving a crap-ton of tax dollars. Of course, that last bit assumes we don't make the government responsible for our healthcare.

including the biggest drug cartel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680377)

This might not be so bad if they tackle the biggest drug cartel in the world, the DEA.

If the US really wants to win the War On Drugs... (3, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 2 years ago | (#40680429)

...Just legalize them. ALL of them. Deal with the people who can't deal with drugs as a health care problem, exactly the way alcoholism is addressed.

How big a problem is bootlegging since Prohibition was repealed?

A natural response (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40680541)

Google has announced its intention to start fighting drug cartels

The illegal drug trade is a very natural response to government policies.

When enough people want to engage in the trade of tangible goods, they will. Such trade is not unethical, or immoral, or wrong. It is merely illegal.

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