What Is Google Up To?

Grind for August 23rd, 2018
“There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can.”

– Henry Ford


The Headline

DEA teams up with Mexican government and Chicago police to fight cartels

The Grind

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Wednesday unveiled a new plan to address Mexico’s cartel network and its contribution to the violence in Chicago.

“We have a unique gang problem, and with that comes a unique violence problem with the guns associated with that,” says Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “We also know that cartels in Mexico are responsible for much of the illegal drugs that are finding their way to Chicago.”

So far this year, authorities in Chicago have confiscated roughly 300 kilograms of heroin and the city has seen a 50% increase in overdose deaths.

“To be crystal clear, the drugs are being manufactured in Mexico, and Mexican cartels control the routes into the United States for distribution.”

The Implication

The new plan calls to establish a Chicago-based enforcement group to address international investigations of cartels and puts more emphasis on attacking cartels’ financial infrastructure.

As DEA special agent Brian McKnight points out, direct cooperation between the Mexican government and Chicago’s police force will make it easier to target all players in the drug network – regardless of which country they happen to be in.

The plan relies on changes in Mexico’s legal system designed to improve evidence gathering and to speed up prosecutions. Additionally, The US will do more to reduce the number of guns flowing into Mexico.

“The new game plan is…pick up the speed and arrest more people, faster,” says regional DEA Director Matthew Donahue. “That’s what we’re really trying to push – the cooperation that we currently have with Mexico to be a little more efficient, a little bit more aggressive.”

As part of its controversial kingpin strategy, the DEA is also seeking to take out cartel boss Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes AKA “El Mencho.”

El Mencho leads the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which came into power after the arrest of Sinaloa Cartel leader “El Chapo.”

Last year, a DEA report described CJNG as “one of the most powerful and fastest growing [cartels] in Mexico and the United States.” CJNG deals primarily in meth, which it distributes to American buyers from hubs in New York, LA, and Atlanta.

CJNG is believed to be responsible for much of the illicit drug trade flowing into Chicago.

Big Brother

The Headline

Google services continue to track your location even with location services turned off

The Grind

Lawmakers are threatening to crack down on Google after an investigation by the Associated Press found that many of Google’s popular services will track a person’s location even after they opt out.

Apps like Weather and Google Maps can’t function unless they know where you are. Not only do these apps access your real-time location, but they also store your location history.

This creates a detailed log of your movements.

Google claims that users can turn off “Location History” to delete these records, but the AP investigation found that Google continued to access and save location data based on Web & App Activity (things like checking the weather and searching for nearby restaurants).

The Details

“Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete, or turn it off at any time,” explained a Google spokesperson. “We make sure Location History users know that when they disable the product, we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions.”

But according to Wired, adjusting your phone’s Web & App Activity is complex and not at all intuitive.

Considering Google’s recent push to drive ad revenue based on a person’s location, it’s no surprise they would make it hard for users to turn these services off.

Did you know… The light hitting the earth right now is 30 thousand years old.