While DeliverFund has the human talent with counter-intelligence know-how dedicated to pursuing traffickers, it needed a better way to identify key people and visualize relationships.
Combining the power of IBM® i2® software with its wide and diverse sources of data, DeliverFund can provide law enforcement and prosecutors with actionable intelligence about human traffickers.
Rapidanalysis and graphing helped law enforcement resolve one case in just 27 days
Powerfulanalytics for an intelligence-driven approach to fighting human trafficking
Easyto use tools and onsite training from IBM enabled analysts to get right to work
Business challenge story
Taking down human traffickers one data point at a time
Human trafficking is one of the largest businesses in the world, and it’s run by criminals. In the United States, DeliverFund is focused on those criminals. This non-profit, private intelligence organization, established in 2014, is on a mission to disrupt criminal human trafficking networks by helping law enforcement arrest and convict the traffickers. DeliverFund field operatives and data analysts work together to uncover the connections between online advertisements, victims, phone numbers, social media, email accounts, addresses and more until finding the trail that leads to the traffickers themselves.
If this sounds a lot like the way the national intelligence and law enforcement organizations work, there’s a reason. DeliverFund founders, field staff and intelligence analysts came from that world. Today, explains Founder and Executive Director Nic McKinley, they are all applying their knowledge, skills and methods to the problem of human trafficking. And it’s working.
DeliverFund gets the data it needs to do this work from up to 40 sources. These include information from partners such as Traffic Jam, which provides real-time data on online human trafficking advertising, as well as open sources such as social media. As a private entity, DeliverFund can also tap into a wide range of commercial data sources that are off-limits to government because they include personally identifiable information.
Empowering analysts with effective tools
In some instances, law enforcement officials approach DeliverFund for help in building a case against suspected traffickers. Or DeliverFund analysts uncover what appears to be human trafficking activity themselves through their own data analysis and bring that to the attention of law enforcement.
IBM® i2® intelligence analysis software offers DeliverFund powerful capabilities, such as network analytics and find path, that automate many formerly manual tasks involved in identifying the connections that reveal human trafficking networks, saving analysts “from double-digit minutes to single-digit hours, and when spread out over the life cycle of a case, that translates to a 30% time savings,” McKinley says. These multidimensional visual analysis capabilities create a picture of the relationships between girls, advertisements, host IDs, telephone numbers, other data points and ultimately names of suspects—helping prosecutors see the connections and be more confident in making a case.
In addition, McKinley says, “i2 software is more than a tool for analyzing data. It helps us keep it all straight. If we find an interesting piece of data in the first database, and we find a correlation to this data in the thirtieth database, i2 software can keep track of how we got from one data point to another. So, for example, if a prosecutor asks us later how we made a particular connection, we can show them the trail that we followed.”
As human traffickers become more adept at using technology to cover their tracks, DeliverFund must broaden the scope of their search for connections. Already the i2 software is proving to be a valuable tool that has enabled a new approach to uncovering traffickers and how they operate: following the money.
Moreover, the i2 intelligence analysis software delivers the reliability DeliverFund analysts were asking for. “We’ve already experienced a 30 percent increase in productivity just from not having to redo hours’ worth of work or do extra things like double saving files and capturing screen grabs of completed work that in the past might be lost,” says McKinley.
Helping law enforcement catch the bad guys
With the five-day training that IBM provided, analysts were able to log on and begin using the i2 software immediately. DeliverFund was prepared when a law enforcement agency came to them asking for help with a case involving both human trafficking and a double murder.
The intelligence reports from the i2 software visualized connections between three suspected human traffickers, an outside “trigger man,” classified ads, multiple victims, photos and phone numbers.
“From the time law enforcement contacted us to the time the traffickers were in handcuffs was 27 days, and in the counter-human trafficking world, that is unheard of,” says McKinley. “This was in large part due to i2 capabilities and our ability to keep track of how people were connected to each other and mapping the trail we followed.”
DeliverFund is a non-profit, private intelligence organization comprised of former special operations and intelligence personnel who are applying counterterrorism methods to combat human trafficking in the United States. Combining uniquely qualified personnel with a data-driven approach to uncovering human trafficking networks, DeliverFund provides law enforcement with the intelligence they can use to build successful cases against human traffickers so justice can be served and victims rescued.
- i2 Analyst's Notebook
- i2 iBase
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