Google chief declares war on ‘illicit networks’
THOUSAND OAKS (USA), July 18: Google chief Eric Schmidt declared war on international criminals on Tuesday, vowing to harness technology to battle “illicit networks” around the world.
At a two-day summit including Interpol, government ministers and victims of forced labour and child slavery, Schmidt said the Internet can help fight traffickers of drugs, sex workers and organs.
International police body Interpol used the conference to unveil a pioneering initiative to crack down on trade in fake goods, using an app developed with the help of search giant Google.
“In a connected world, vulnerable people will be safer, trafficking victims can learn their rights, can find opportunities; organ harvesters can be named and brought to justice,” Schmidt said.
“Connection protects us .. together we can use technology to protect the world,” he told the “Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition” summit in Thousand Oaks, north of Los Angeles.
Juan Pablo Escobar, the son of infamous former Colombian drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar, joined the conference via Skype.
“The moment I was the most scared was when I realised my country was using my father’s violent methods to fight him,” he told the summit.
Indian former child slave Rani Hong, who is now a UN adviser on child trafficking, wept as she recounted her own story. “I was beaten, I was tortured, we are talking about slavery at seven years old,” she said.
“I was treated as a piece of property to be used to make profit… I cried and I cried. They told me to shut up and they said I didn’t have a word and nobody would listen to me.”
In one concrete example of technology fighting crime, the Interpol Global Register (IGR) initiative aims to track illicit goods by verifying products through security features, using the
“Right now in special areas (like) pharmaceuticals, tobacco products and household goods, a consumer doesn’t know what’s fake and what’s real,” Interpol chief Ronald Noble said.
“We came up with this idea that will allow a consumer or law enforcement or businesses to scan a code and determine whether or not it can be verified as authentic,” he added.—AFP