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Data-Driven Justice: How ADF Enhances Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Posted by ADF Solutions on January 25, 2024
ADF Solutions

Human trafficking is a borderless crime that does not discriminate against age or sex. It is global, it is a heinous crime, and it has transformed with the help of new technology. As our society continues to integrate technology into their everyday lives, traffickers will find new ways to perpetuate modern slavery. 

Law enforcement agencies must use data-driven approaches in their anti-trafficking efforts. ADF Solutions provides law enforcement with digital forensic tools to collect, analyze, and track data, enhancing their anti-trafficking efforts. Featured Image-2

The Landscape of Human Trafficking

Modern technology has allowed traffickers to expand their reach through the internet, where they engage in human exploitation and modern slavery practices. According to the University of Toledo research, 42% of victims who met traffickers online never met them in person but were still trafficked [3]. Social media platforms and fake job listings allow traffickers to hide behind fake identities and lure their victims in. Traffickers also apply money laundering techniques to hide online transactions making it difficult for law enforcement to trace their activity. 

Sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and domestic servitude are just some of the ways human traffickers exploit their victims[1]According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s 2023 statistics…

  • $99 billion is made per year from sex trafficking

  • 4.5 million people worldwide are victims of forced sexual exploitation

  • $51 Billion per year from the use of forced labor

  • 21 Million people worldwide are now victims of forced labor

  • Migrants are particularly vulnerable to forced labor practices[2].

Law enforcement and anti-trafficking organizations find themselves facing challenges when gathering actionable intelligence…

  • Cross-border nature: Human trafficking is a transnational crime, and traffickers often exploit gaps in jurisdiction and coordination between different countries' law enforcement agencies. Coordinating efforts across borders can be challenging due to legal, cultural, and language differences.

  • Technological challenges: Traffickers often use technology to coordinate their activities, making it crucial for law enforcement to keep pace with advancements. However, the rapid evolution of technology can pose challenges for investigators in staying ahead of traffickers and effectively using digital evidence.

  • Data Sharing and Coordination: Effective intelligence gathering often requires collaboration and information sharing among various agencies and organizations. Challenges may arise due to legal constraints, concerns about data privacy, or a lack of standardized protocols for sharing information.

The Role of Data Analytics in Anti-Trafficking

Data analytics is the process of analyzing raw data to find trends and answer questions[3]. By applying data analytics to anti-trafficking efforts law enforcement agencies identify patterns and trends to prevent and prosecute traffickers. 

  1. Pattern Recognition and Identification: Data analytics enables the identification of patterns and anomalies in large datasets. This is essential in recognizing potential5-Jan-22-2024-07-03-47-3566-PM trafficking activities, such as movement patterns, recruitment methods, and common routes used by traffickers.

  2. Victim Identification and Support: Analyzing data helps in identifying potential victims of trafficking. This includes monitoring social media, online platforms, and other sources for signs of coercion, exploitation, or forced labor. Timely identification allows for swift intervention and support for victims.

  3. Hotspot Analysis: By analyzing geographical data, law enforcement agencies identify trafficking hotspots. This information helps allocate resources, conduct targeted operations, and enhance surveillance in areas with high trafficking activities.

  4. Predictive Policing: Law enforcement agencies anticipate potential trafficking activities based on historical data. This proactive approach allows authorities to intervene before a crime occurs and disrupt trafficking networks.

  5. Collaboration and Information Sharing: Data analytics facilitates collaboration among law enforcement agencies, non-profits, and international organizations. Sharing data and insights across borders enhances the collective ability to combat trafficking on a global scale.

ADF Solutions: Empowering Anti-Trafficking Efforts

To accomplish proper data analytics law enforcement agencies need robust tools that have the capacity to collect, analyze, and report on digital evidence. ADF Solutions tailors its digital forensic software for human trafficking investigations, providing several functionalities that aid in data collection, analysis, and interpretation…

  • Anti-Human Trafficking Search Profiles: The Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII) is an ADF partner at the forefront of combating global human trafficking. ADF’s digital forensic software can be equipped with access to the ATII human3-Jan-22-2024-07-03-43-1763-PM trafficking data to use with ADF digital forensic search profiles. Law enforcement officers use custom search profiles for human trafficking for precise evidence collection. These profiles are crafted to streamline the process of evidence collection efficiency in investigations.

  • Screenshots and screen recordings of mobile devices: ADF Software users can conduct screenshots and screen recordings of iOS and Android devices. Law enforcement uses screenshots and screen recordings to obtain relevant data rapidly before completing an advanced logical acquisition with ADF digital forensic tools. Relevant digital evidence on a mobile device is viewed immediately to expedite criminal investigations. 

  • Imaging Computers: ADF’s digital forensic software allows users to rapidly assess Mac, Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, and external drives for prohibited materials like CSAM, usernames, and contacts. Law enforcement agencies benefit from the ability to conduct automated scans, scan multiple computer and storage devices for evidence, and use built-in and custom search profiles for swift evidence discovery.

Uncovering Patterns and Trends

With the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning, ADF’s digital forensic tools can assist law enforcement in identifying patterns within large datasets. ADF software can autonomously identify patterns associated with digital evidence in human trafficking investigations. 

Image and video classification is trained to recognize a variety of visual classes relevant to its users, such as bestiality, child abuse, currency, people, pornography, vehicles, and weapons. Image classification is a time-consuming process, but with ADF software the process is automated. 7-Jan-22-2024-07-03-48-0525-PM

All pictures and videos go through an initial filter that eliminates non-photographs (icons, clip art, and other pixel art), so only the remaining relevant pictures are classified. The image classifier works on all the collected pictures and videos from the file system, archives, databases, thumbnails, documents, emails, messages, downloads, and unallocated space.

ADF software also lets investigators search for files by keyword(s) using substrings or regular expressions. ADF software allows you to search for keywords in all file and folder names, file content and metadata, and artifact records from other captures[4]. This allows law enforcement investigators to quickly see all activities related to a keyword such as human trafficking or cryptocurrency. 

Keyword searches can be tailored to fit investigative needs and will be presented in an easy-to-understand format. This along with linking files to referenced files will assist in making rapid decisions on the scene.

Enhancing Collaboration and Information Sharing

A comprehensive understanding of trafficking trends facilitates collaboration between law enforcement and anti-trafficking organizations on a national and international level. By sharing information on global trafficking patterns, countries can work together to tackle transnational trafficking networks. This collaboration is essential in addressing the interconnected nature of human trafficking.

ADF Solutions has undertaken a role in facilitating information sharing and collaboration by providing agencies with the cloud forensics tool- ADF Cloud Platform. Within the ADF Cloud4-Jan-22-2024-07-03-45-0428-PM Platform law enforcement agencies are empowered with real-time awareness of usage and device types investigators encounter. Agencies easily benchmark and identify trends to help drive training and operational decisions in modern slavery detection.

The ADF License Server enables organizations to deploy licenses anywhere, anytime and eliminates the need to ship physical dongles between locations. This saves organizations time and money and helps speed investigations. Digital evidence analysis can go beyond borders further aiding the fight against human exploitation.

Data Analytics and ADF Solutions Allies to Ani-Trafficking Efforts 

Data analytics emerges as a key ally in the battle against human trafficking. ADF Solutions' digital forensic software empowers law enforcement agencies to identify patterns, recognize potential victims, analyze hotspots, and engage in predictive policing. The collaboration and information-sharing capabilities facilitated by data analytics strengthen the collective efforts of law enforcement, non-profits, and international organizations.

The emphasis on collaboration is paramount, and ADF Solutions contributes to this through the ADF Cloud Platform, enabling real-time awareness and information sharing among law enforcement agencies. The ADF Cloud Platform aids in benchmarking, trend identification, and decision-making, fostering a comprehensive understanding of trafficking trends.

Learn more about the ADF Cloud Platform

Topics: Human Trafficking, CSAM

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