Memex Tool Invaluable To San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

May 24, 2016 -- Two years ago, IST Research was selected to lead two critical technical areas (data gathering and technology deployment) of the DARPA Memex program, with the mission to develop next generation of search technologies and revolutionize the discovery, organization and presentation of search results.

From the outset, counter human trafficking efforts have been a primary focus of the team’s work. These efforts have resulted in relationships throughout the law enforcement and legal communities as those organizations have worked to improve the sophistication and effectiveness of their investigations. 

The data intensive nature of how trafficking rings operate online has made evidence collection and analysis both difficult and time consuming. The San Francisco District Attorney’s office has employed Memex technology to search vast amounts of data and identify critical connections within phone records, online listings and other information buried on the dark web. 

“Often cell phone data, both from the carrier and from the device itself, holds valuable evidence relevant to a criminal investigation. In this case, the SFDA Crime Strategies Unit analyst utilized the Memex tool to determine the significance of cell phone data specific to the human trafficking of young girls. The Memex tool proved invaluable in identifying relevant links between the traffickers and their victims,” said Frank Carrubba, Assistant District Attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office.

IST’s Memex team continues to build new relationships with law enforcement organizations across the country. As the capabilities of the tool continue to grow, those relationships will be the cornerstone of the program’s success. 


IST Research is a small business that innovates technologies and processes to meet challenges around the world. Our work ranges from conversing with locals in Afghanistan to digitizing healthcare in Zambia to countering human trafficking through open data. Help us reinvent the way to communicate the edge, maximizing impact, minimizing conflict, mitigating risks, and engineering win-win solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

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