Cyber Security Talk series: Cracking Sex Trafficking: Data Analysis, Pattern Recognition, and Path Prediction

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Date(s) - 25/06/2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This talk will be given by Dr Greg Bott from the University of Alabama.

Human trafficking,  the exploitation of humans for monetary gain or benefit,  is a  widespread humanitarian issue.  In the last decade, human traffickers involved in sex trafficking have used online classified advertisements to advertise sexual services. Although online classified advertisements are visible to the general public and law enforcement, the volume of ads, the frequency with which their posting locale changes and the use of obfuscation tactics make it difficult for law enforcement agencies to react.  Existing products for law enforcement focus on identifying, tracking, and correlating individual activity by performing deep searches for specific information against a database of historical posts.  While this deep search capability can gather evidence about individuals involved in current cases,  it overlooks higher-level patterns involving multiple individuals. We demonstrate how online advertisements can be used to detect these higher-level patterns and predict the future movement of organizations that are potentially involved in human trafficking.  To achieve our goal, we harvested more than 10 million posts from a popular advertisement website that serves all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Our framework combines information systems and operation research tools to identify groups of posts based on text, phone numbers, and pictures;  determine circuits associated with post groups, and predict future movements using three different methods. The outcome of our research is a comparison of techniques that law enforcement officers can use to proactively fight human trafficking and guide resource allocation decisions, increasing the likelihood of successful interdiction efforts

You can register for the event here.

A Zoom URL  will be sent to everyone who registers by COB on the 24th June.

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