At a California conference on international crime held earlier this week, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt relayed details of a visit he’d recently made to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and of the talks he’d had with civic leaders while there. His focus was on reducing violence by reducing the threat of the Mexican Cartels. And not surprisingly, his plan for doing this involves technology.
Different speakers at the conference highlighted the fact that cartels currently enjoy “more sophisticated technology” than the Mexican police force. They have “high tech control rooms, remote controlled submarines,” and the ability to intercept satellite feeds and radio communications throughout the country. Thus they know where the police are before the police do, yet the bulk of Mexican citizens sit silently because they fear cartel retaliation.
And this is where Schmidt’s plan comes into play. He thinks Google could do some good by creating a network on which citizens could report cartel activities without their calls being traced (or even being traceable). He also wants to create a network that allows the police to share information in real time, without compromising the physical location of the police who are sharing the information.
However, even with all that Google has to offer, Schmidt confessed that in the end, technology alone is not enough. He described cartel members as “bad people” who have to be captured and killed.
Call me crazy, but where Attorney General Eric Holder’s ill-fated attempt to nab cartel members via Fast and Furious was all wrong from the start, Google’s approach is actually rooted in the real world.