The Bottom Line Up Front

C4ADS is a nonprofit organization with a mission to defeat the illicit networks that threaten global peace and security.

We Are C4ADS #

A group of data-loving global security trailblazers all united under one goal: dismantle the forces that threaten global peace and security.

Here’s how we see it:

Where traditional international security institutions see a collection of states, we see an interconnected set of systems. We focus on the underlying threats to global security: the illicit networks that operate across borders to destabilize communities, prevent development, and devastate the environment.

Illicit networks don’t fit in a perfect box, so neither do we. Instead, we take the best of everything: the brainpower of a think tank, the innovation of a tech startup, and the reach of investigative journalism. We use this to disrupt the status quo, push the boundaries of what is possible outside government, and build a community of innovation and action.

Here’s how we do it:

Illicit networks don’t exist in some secret underbelly – they use the same licit systems of transportation, communications, and finance, that we all rely on. We use this to our advantage – every time a money launderer, war profiteer, or wildlife trafficker interacts with the outside world, a discoverable data trail is created. Our job is to find that trail among the trillions of data points just like it.

How do we do it? We eat, sleep, and breathe publicly available information, aka PAI. Through our data science expertise, we integrate and refine thousands of different data sources ranging from satellite imagery to corporate registries, building one of the largest repositories of PAI in existence. We develop and incorporate cutting-edge software to build out entire transnational illicit systems, and identify precisely how to target them. From there, we support a network of action-focused partners all over the world, creating a whole-of-society approach against global security threats.

Our Approach

We are enhancing global security through innovative data science, software development, large-scale partnership building, and empowering the next generation of analysts.

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Our Ethics #

Annual Reports #