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Technology Being Used to Fight Street and Web Crime

Ever wish your laptop could do more than just order you up a pair of shoes? How about using it to fight crime? Victims of crimes in Brazil can now log onto Wikicrimes and pinpoint the exact intersection of the criminal attack. Created by a Brazilian professor, the site asks contributors to provide details such as whether the perpetrator was armed or whether a third party can confirm the incident.

The unavailability of police data in Brazil has prompted the public to warn others by amplifying the power of word of mouth with the internet. To see how Google aims to stop sexual predators,


While Wikicrime is using the web to prevent crime, Google is making it more difficult for sexual predators to use the web to exploit children. Google developed software that will allow analysts at the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to sort and identify web images that contain images of child sex abuse victims. The engineers developed the program on "20% time" — Google's program that allows employees to dedicate that amount of time to projects they chose.

While technology has made it easier to perpetrate crimes like child pornography, it's reassuring to know that companies like Google are not sitting still. Should they be doing more?

As for the Brazilian Wikicrimes — what use does reporting crime to the internet serve? Will crime be perpetuated in an area labeled "unsafe"?


Join The Conversation
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
I think what google is doing is fantastic. I agree with what Stephley said regarding Wikicrime. I think the potential for abuse is too high for it to be beneficial in the long run.
stephley stephley 9 years
That's a little like cops giving t.v. stations pictures of suspects, but it is getting to feel uncomfortably vigilante-ish on the internet. You've got no idea who's watching you back.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
That's what I was thinking stephley! Oh and I found another example! Colorado sheriffs posted a video on YouTube of robbers breaking into a home. They're hoping someone will identify them!
stephley stephley 9 years
I'm not sure identifying an area as unsafe on the internet is such a good thing. For one thing, most of us wouldn't stop and do a google scan of neighborhoods we expect to visit, and the potential for abuse is huge. You could damage property values by constantly listing an area as unsafe.
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