Authorities in the U.S. are already using the Internet and Social Media to fight gangs and crimes. Now, Mexico is doing the same, using what technology has to offer to help fight Mexican drug cartels and narco violence. Harvard University researcher Viridiana Rios is one if them. Rios uses Google to track down criminal activity. And when she does, she informs the Mexican authorities about the cartel data she uncovered. “Our criminals are noisy. They hold in blankets and scenic. Discuss their exploits in digital forums and blogs,” she writes.
Rios, who was first inspired to develop a filtering tool using Google data when she worked as an adviser to Mexico’s National Security Council, says that the problem is not the lack of data, but, instead, the overwhelming amounts of it. “If we are able to track and understand the way [cartels] move from one municipality to another, this is crucial information for the Mexican government to design policies,” she adds. Rios is not alone in the fight. She is joined by fellow Harvard researcher Michele Coscia, data scientist Diego Valle-Jones, and political science professor Tony Payan.
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