Cocaine Inc.’s IT infrastructure

Cocaine Inc.'s IT infrastructureBusiness 2.0 has a compelling read in its July issue. “The Technology Secrets of Cocaine Inc.” looks at the IT infrastructure the Cali cartel has built to help manage its vast cocaine smuggling and sales empire. Particularly chilling is the organization’s use of data mining software to sift through phone records of its own operatives and the entire Cali phone exchange to see if any members were actually snitching to the authorities on the side. “They could correlate phone numbers, personalities, locations — any way you want to cut it,” said a former director of a law enforcement agency. “[Cali cocaine cartel leader Jos?] Santacruz could see if any of his lieutenants were spilling the beans.” At the heart of the system was a $1 million IBM AS400 mainframe. Observed one high-level DEA official: “It is very reasonable to assume that people were killed as a result of this capability. Potential sources of information were compromised by the system.”

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