• Crawling for crime

    Crawling for crime

    A partnership aimed at eradicating illicit online trade in African wildlife will use web technology to identify and locate criminals.

    The illegal peddling of animal parts is believed to be the world’s fourth biggest illicit industry – generating between US$7 billion and US$23 billion each year. Non-profit African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has partnered with Netherlands-based software security firm Irdeto to investigate, identify and disrupt poaching crimes as well as the sale of animal parts on the internet, as reported by IT Web.

    Automated programmes or scripts, known as ‘web crawlers’ designed by Irdeto will monitor e-commerce trading sites, gathering data from the internet, including the darknet, according to CEO Doug Lowther. Web crawlers scan web pages to create indexes of data it is programmed to search for.

    Also working with local law enforcement, forensic data and intelligence will also be used to locate and arrest criminals. ‘We have an opportunity to disrupt this illicit industry and make a positive impact on wildlife in Africa as well as across the globe,’ says AWF president Kaddu Sebunya.

    18 December 2018
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images