Marinus Analytics and DeliverFund Partnership Continue Resourcing Law Enforcement Agencies Despite Backpage.com’s Adult Ad Closure

Pittsburgh - January 27, 2017 - Marinus Analytics LLC has joined DeliverFund's International Human Trafficking Analysis Center (iHTAC), a consortium of organizations who've partnered to craft holistic solutions to the problem of human trafficking. The iHTAC is the central all source, shared knowledge bank on human trafficking activity, human traffickers and their networks, and the primary dissemination and coordination point for law enforcement and select nonprofits working to end modern day slavery.

The combined capabilities of Marinus Analytic’s Traffic Jam and DeliverFund's uniquely qualified personnel allowed law enforcement agents efforts to continue without disruption during the recent Backpage.com's closure of its adult ads section.

“At Marinus, we are always prepared for change to happen in the human trafficking space. We work with DeliverFund to provide them with the technology tools needed to effectively combat sex trafficking. When Backpage.com closed its adult section, we remained a step ahead, enabling detectives and analysts across the nation continued access to the information they need to save lives. DeliverFund continues to provide top-notch service and support to our country’s law enforcement.”, Emily Kennedy, Founder/CEO Marinus Analytics.

“DeliverFund started working with Emily and the team at Marinus Analytics months ago in preparation for the inevitable shift in advertising at Backpage.com, and as a result of Traffic Jam’s superior capabilities and those preparations, our intelligence collection operations were unaffected by Backpage.com’s recent actions. Other Traffic Jam like tools we have access to were rendered useless by the move, but Traffic Jam never missed a beat.”, Nic McKinley, Founder/Executive Director DeliverFund.

Human Trafficking focused Law enforcement agents seeking to increase their capabilities by using Traffic Jam, or those who’d like to like to support the DeliverFund iHTAC’s work to effectively address the problem of human trafficking can visit http://deliverfund.org/ or http://www.marinusanalytics.com/

Marinus is a spin-off company from the Auton Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, which produces and deploys data mining applications with social impact. Marinus Analytic’s Traffic Jam is an innovative technology based on the latest advancements in computer science to leverage big data to catch traffickers and rescue victims.

DeliverFund is a nonprofit, private intelligence firm that disrupts human trafficking markets by providing intelligence and specialized analytics about human trafficking activities to law enforcement authorities.

 

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For more information, press only:

Emily Kennedy, (866) 945-2803, Marinus Analytics

Tara Bradford, (505) 218-6317, DeliverFund

 

For more information on Marinus Analytics:

http://www.marinusanalytics.com/

 

For more information on DeliverFund:

http://deliverfund.org/ 

Marinus Awarded SBIR to Develop Adaptive Decoding of Text: Deobfuscating Text to Find Trafficking Victims

Press release

Pittsburgh, PA — Marinus Analytics has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) for a project to develop new algorithms to enable predictive decoding of obfuscated text.

With the advent of the Internet, sex traffickers have been constantly innovating new ways to throw law enforcement agents off of their trail.  Particularly, perpetrators obfuscate—or attempt to disguise—the text used in ads that advertise their victims to veil pieces of information that would be useful to law enforcement, such as phone numbers and names.  These criminals can easily substitute Unicode characters into their ads, symbols which humans (their customers) can easily read, but computers cannot easily interpret for automated search or deeper analysis.  This leaves valuable evidence unrecognized, hindering law enforcement agents’ ability to track and catch traffickers.

There is no existing solution that can comprehensively and accurately decode the obfuscated information.  Such a flexible and adaptive solution is necessary in a world where criminal tactics are constantly changing and evolving.

Marinus’s solution will apply machine learning methods to train a model to predict the appropriate Latin character translation most likely to be represented by alternative symbols, essentially allowing for automatic and predictive decoding of obfuscated text.  Production of this unique set of algorithms will solve this problem adaptively, empowering law enforcement to stay ahead of criminal tactics as they evolve.

“This project has the potential to accelerate law enforcement agents’ ability to quickly and effectively track perpetrators, putting detectives ahead of the curve in their response to trafficking cases,” said Marinus CEO Emily Kennedy. “It also will have important application for other domains such as responses to spam and phishing schemes, which are increasingly popular in this Internet age.”

Marinus Analytics LLC is a women-owned spin-off company from the Auton Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, which produces and deploys data mining applications with social impact.  Marinus provides innovative technology based on the latest advancements in computer science to leverage big data to catch traffickers and rescue victims.

Media Contact:  Emily Kennedy, (866) 945-2803

Together, we are stronger.

This October, Marinus was invited to present at the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) Summit .  The GPNP drives more powerful social impact by a unified coalition of non-profits, and public and private sector organizations.  

Why do we need this?  Organizations have historically been far too siloed, far too disconnected to reap the benefits of unity.  When the organizations in our region meet and connect, then we have the opportunity to accelerate the social change we work so hard for. I've once heard it said that people can work together more effectively when they see each other face to face and know the other as someone with goals and passions, not just as another business card or email.  The GPNP Summit provides this important opportunity to meet and strengthen our cross sector relationships.

On behalf of Marinus, I was happy to share our work across sectors to empower the fight against sex trafficking.  When we began as Carnegie Mellon research in 2011, we connected with the Pittsburgh Coalition to End Human Trafficking, a local non-profit.  As our research progressed to a software product, the Coalition connected us to Pittsburgh FBI, one of our first users, and some of our most dedicated super-users to this day.  Both of these relationships have sparked and fueled an integral part of Marinus's mission: to provide rescue capabilities not only to law enforcement, but to non-profits who work with victims.

This connection fosters an important collaboration between detectives and victim services organizations, bringing a much more powerful rescue framework for the victims we encounter.  When an advocate comes across a tip in our software, Traffic Jam, about a potential victim, they can pass it to a detective, who uses Traffic Jam to investigate, locate, and rescue her.  And because of the tip referral, the detective can recommend the boy or girl to the victim services organization after the rescue, insuring a more holistic rescue process that discourages recidivism.

Only from this cross-sector collaboration, may we have an effective, comprehensive approach to fighting sex trafficking in our cities and regions.

27th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference

Marinus Exhibitor Booth

Marinus Exhibitor Booth

This August, four people from our team at Marinus Analytics travelled to Dallas, Texas for the 27th Annual Crimes Against Children Conference. For three days, our representatives exhibited Traffic Jam at a booth, attended various workshops to further our understanding of these crimes, and connected with others who also work tirelessly against sex trafficking. 

In addition to sharing Traffic Jam at our booth all week, we offered a workshop open to anyone in attendance at the conference. During this workshop, we walked attendees through use cases where Traffic Jam has been used to identify and track pimps and rescue victims. We were especially excited for the chance to demonstrate our newly-released SimSearch feature, which allows users to search for similar images, finding the same person in different photos, and even identifying new victims.

Our representatives met and answered questions from training attendees and visitors to our booth, all the while gathering valuable feedback which we will use to improve Traffic Jam in the future to make sex trafficking investigations even more efficient.  We can't wait to join next year!