Last week's Google gathering on how to combat organized crime garnered headlines, but many questions remain unanswered.
Insight Crime researches, analyzes, and investigates organized crime in the Americas. Find all of Steven Dudley's research here.
Google Ideas' two-day conference on how to best use technology to fight criminal networks was a forum for tough, anti-mafia rhetoric, but competing interests and few concrete proposals make the proposed geek-government-activist partnership more difficult than advertised.
If there was doubt about Google's resolve in fighting what it calls "Illicit Networks," some of it was washed away with a few words from Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt on day one of the conference: "At the end of the day, there really are bad people, and you have to go in and arrest them and kill them."
The statement, which came during the question-and-answer session and was cut from the video version below, seemed to stun all but Google Ideas' own employees who have seen the more combative side of Mr. Schmidt on his recent trips to Ciudad Juarez, among other places. The conference continued apace with panelists and Google staff alike touting the need to fight the worldwide problem, in large part through technology.
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